Power in the blood

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HarperCollins, 1993 - Fiction - 858 pages
2 Reviews
In the year 1869, in Schenectady, New York, an abandoned, impoverished wife dies, leaving behind three children, Zoe and her brothers Clayton and Drew. They are sent out West on one of the so-called orphan trains - a cruel philanthropy of the time which provided house hold and farm help to pioneer families. The Dugan children are separated, adopted by couples in three different states, and immediately lose contact with one another. After growing up under more or less unpleasant circumstances, the boys go off on their own - to make a new start and to find each other and their sister. As the years go by, Clay, the eldest, becomes an increasingly grim lawman and then a bounty hunter, while Drew, the youngest and a charmer, despite himself turns into an outlaw. After being raped and made pregnant by her foster father, Zoe leaves and eventually marries a gold prospector; her daughter, Omie, has a blue birthmark on her face and the power within her to bend metal, read the future, and alter lives. With the same command of sweeping narrative that made his bestselling novel Heart of the Counts so unforgettable, Greg Matthews takes us along with these vivid characters on a truly epic journey across the wildest of landscapes. And not only into their hearts and minds but also into those of the dozens of others we encounter in the course of this haunting, richly satisfying book. Among them are Lovey Doll Pines, the whore with a heart of coal; Reverend Wixson, the preacher with a portable scale used to ascertain the precise moment the soul departs from a dying body; Nevis Dunnigan, the would-be Rembrandt whose Venus Revealed is found over the bar in every saloon in the West; Tatum, the ambiguoushired assassin; Leo Brannan, the richest man in Colorado, whose fall from grace includes murder and betrayal; and Slade, the mysterious drifter who comes and goes with the wind. But always and above all there are the Dugans - Clay, Zoe, and Drew - whose yearning to be with one another again leads, sixteen years alter their separation and winding trails of adventure covering thousands of miles and a host of lives, to a bizarre and tragic reunion under the open skies of Colorado. By turns funny, moving, and horrifying, this tale of kinship, of lives entwined and wrenched apart, of fortunes made and lost, of the unpredictability of fate is a triumph of the story-teller's art.

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User Review  - Chirpchirpsquawk - LibraryThing

Wow, I'm afraid that nothing I can say will convey the absolute greatness of this book. And the ending!...Haunting enough to stick in my head for a long time to come. This book is 858 pages! Yet I ... Read full review

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