Title: The Hardest Ride
Author: Gordon L. Rottman
Goodreads Author Page: Gordon L. Rottman
Narrator: James Simenc
Narrator's Website: James Simenc
Publisher: Hartwood Publishing Group
Listening Length: 9h:45m
Synopsis: Out of work cowpoke Bud Eugen comes across Marta, a mute sixteen-year old Mexican girl whose family has been killed by Indians. Bud reluctantly takes her along, even though he's never had to accommodate another person in his simple life, let alone a woman. The silent girl turns out to have more spirit than he bargained for and a bond develops between them that leads Bud into a dangerous adventure in which he is determined to fulfil an unspoken promise to Marta.
This is a wonderful, if somewhat despairing, story. It tells the tale of a man's innocent and unexpected love for a woman in a time where innocence and love collide with violent and racist societies. The narrative is very well crafted to the point where I felt actual frustration with the main protagonist, Bud. The characterisation is subtle and draws the personalities very well. The settings are wonderful and the icy conditions set your teeth chattering. My only criticisms are, firstly, that the dialogue felt a bit clunky, although this may have been down to the narration, which generally was excellent, although there were a few editing hitches, and, secondly, there were some significant time breaks in the narrative which jarred a little and the end was somewhat rushed. Nevertheless, this is a wonderful story that I recommend to anyone interested in the genre.
What others thought
Amazon.co.uk; 1 review, of 5*
Amazon.com; 712 reviews, of which 98% were 3* or more, giving an average of 4.6*
Goodreads.com; 1,593 ratings (100 reviews), with 97% of 3* or more, giving an average of 4.4*
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