Originally posted at my blog Chasing Empty Pavements
Ahh, this was a breath of fresh air. I hadn't read a good old historical fiction novel in quite a long time so this book was a welcome sight. I've always had a fascination with Jesse James and since I'm from Missouri, I've had this illustrious image of him and Zee in my mind for a long time. I was curious to see how Myers would mingle fact and fiction in this book and I'm glad to say that I think she did a great job. This book kind of reminded me of Rhett Butler's People..that kind of "the other person's story" kind of thing.
I think Myers did a great job of developing her characters. At times, I felt like I knew who Jesse and Zee were as people even though I know logically, that's not exactly who they were in real life. I loved the development of their relationship though it was really doomed from the start. I loved the tenacity of Zee and the fact that she felt so strongly about Jesse that she would forgot her families concerns and objections to being with him. I think the thing I loved the most about this book was the historical facts though. I felt like this was a very throughly researched book and I found myself pulling up my computer every couple chapters to read further into something I'd just learned from the book. Of course, I loved the sense of adventure in the book, and I liked having a different view of things than from the typical view of Jesse James. I thought having a female voice have a huge stake in the story was great and I really did love Zee as a character.
As much as I did like this book, there were a lot of places that just dragged on and on. There were several areas of the book, most unnecessary detail or random musings from Zee that I could have done without. I was nervous about even finishing the book because I put it down and picked it up so many times. Other than the numerous peaks and valleys in the book, that was really my only complaint.
Overall, I really liked this novel and thought it was a fresh/unique twist on the old Jesse James story. I think fans of historical fiction will really enjoy this book and find it a worthwhile read!
**I received this book free from the publisher through www.netgalley.com. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.