WOMEN IN THE WIND by Margaret Ritter


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A fat, silly saga with family feuding, multi-disasters, and various clunky teapots in the tempest of Indian/white relationships in pre-statehood days and, later, in the Indian territory of Oklahoma. In 1905, Reanna Lovell, in order to escape a confining tea-party social future, marries Andrew MacClaren, a white adopted member of the Chickasaw nation. The Indian woman who adoped Andrew at eleven is Jane Beauvaise, whose house, ""Lockleven,"" is a replica of the Mississippi home where her grandmother had married the Scot who presented her with the ""Beauvaise cup"" (which once belonged to Mary of Scots). Jane's child, married to Andrew at her request, had died in childbirth, leaving horrid child Snow. And Jane's surviving offspring is Pride, who, unlike greedy Andrew, loves the land, rather than the riches he can squeeze from it. Andrew turns out to be a rotten husband, but Reanna has an ally in Pride, who's falling in love, as is Reanna. Baby Lovell is the result, whose birth takes place in a blizzard in a cottage (Lochleven and Jane who hands on the Cup to Reanna have been obliterated by a twister). Pride is on hand, but Andrew is in the process of losing thousands of head of cattle just because he wouldn't listen to Pride, who told him the Texas drive was dumb. But what's this? Thar's oil on the property Andrew had signed over to Reanna (for all the wrong reasons)! Then oil spouts up on the land Andrew had stolen from Snow and both Reanna and Andrew are drilling madly, playing one-upsy with liens and pipelines. It all ends with a trial, showdown and big oil-field fire, with Pride chugging to the rescue in a steam engine. Here and there there is something about tribal dances to remind the reader that the Beauvaises are Indian through and through. Hooey.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1985
Publisher: Simon & Schuster