Robson (Mary’s Land, 1995, etc.), who only recently moved to hardcover, continues to turn just-the-facts into highly realistic historical fiction, filled with strongly focused characters and glowing with phosphorescent detail. Beginning in 1845, this tells of the real-life Sarah Borginnis Bowman, a boundlessly spirited six-footer with cayenne hair, whose first husband dies on a boat when a white-hot steam-boiler erupts, blowing the indestructible Jack Borginnis to atoms. Jack had been serving under General Zachary Taylor, and when Taylor’s troops in Corpus Christi have been ordered to march on Mexico, which won—t give up Texas to the States, Sarah believes herself to be an Army woman, signs on as a laundress and cook, and goes along. As soldiers discover, she’s fearless in battle, and at the slaughter at the Rio Grande is seen courageously retrieving the wounded amid exploding gunpowder. She follows Old Zach through battle after battle against Santa Anna, marries a Corporal Davis, and later meets a golden-eyed man who moves with amazing grace, as if to waltz music. After the war, she takes the name of Albert Bowman when they set up house together. More richly detailed historical fiction from an author who writes only what she absolutely wants to--and has a good time doing it.