Review: Ride the River by Louis L’amour

Posted February 16, 2020 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 32 Comments

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Review: Ride the River by Louis L’amour
Ride the River
Narrated by Jamie Rose

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one-flame


Series: Sacketts #5
Genres: Historical Romance, Western Romance
Published by Penguin Random House Audio
Released on September 7, 2000
Length: 5 hrs and 9 mins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
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The Delight

A large inheritance, a conspiracy to steal it, and a young mountain woman who aims to bring home to her needing family has need of come hell or high water.  Louis L’Amour is a favorite author and his western and adventure stories especially his Sackett family saga has fired my imagination for decades.  L’Amour has always represented the women in his stories with the same care that he takes with his male heroes- frontier tough, but to my knowledge this is the only story with the primary character being a women.  And, what a gal she is, but, then again, she’s a Sackett.


Review

Ride the River is the fifth book in the Sacketts series.  This is a series of standalones organized chronologically.  The books that come after this one tend to be all grouped around the same time frame with Ride the River bridging the gap between the old Colonial era Sacketts to the post-Civil War generation.

In 1840, Echo Sackett is sixteen and ready for her first adventure away from her Tennessee mountain home.  When the traveling Tinker shows their family a notice in an obscure Pennsylvania newspaper that the youngest descendant of Kin Sackett has an inheritance coming, she knows she must go.  Her family doesn’t have much and her widowed ma and her uncle aren’t getting younger so off she goes.

In Philadelphia, Echo encounters the shyster lawyer who is handling the estate and he has no intention of a backwoods hick to get so much money.  But, he’s not the only shark circling around such a large inheritance.  Echo might be confused about big city ways, but she knows her varmints when she sees them and she contacts Finian Chantry, a renowned trial lawyer to help with the legal issues and Finian sends his nephew along to watch her back on the treacherous journey home with a carpet back full of money.

Dorian Chantry reluctantly follows Echo and shakes his head over a slip of a girl carting all that money and traveling alone.  He’s used to polished debutantes and idling his time with gentlemanly pursuits, but out on the frontier that cuts no ice ad he must step it up to prove to his uncle and to himself that he’s capable.  But, then he starts to see Echo is something special and takes the shine out of all those girls back in Philadelphia.  She knows they are in trouble with killers on their trail, but calmly tells him that they just need to hold out until her kin can get there- and they will come.

I enjoyed this slice of adventure told during a time period that isn’t common for most American historical fiction or romance.  The nation is young, but growing in this time of expansion.  River travel is king.  The 1840’s are still a time when the frontier started just beyond the cities in the east.  L’Amour paints the settings so vividly that I felt I was there.

As to the characters, it is a given that they are colorful and diverse from several stratas of American society and race.  As to personalities, Echo was a sparkling young woman who is confident without being arrogant.  She lets the snobs in the cities think she’s naive hick from the hills, but she’s smart and educated in the way of survival and reading people like she reads sign while out hunting.  It was fun when she takes a shine to Dorian even when he pretended not to notice the pretty young woman with his uncle.  And, it was more fun when she taught the villains a few lessons about underestimating a gal particularly when she was armed with her own hunting knife, pistol, and rifle and had grown up rough and lean in the hills of Tennessee with mostly men.  She knows those men are strong and cunning, but she works to outwit them and stay alive and keep Dorian alive once he joins her in her element.

My only niggle is it ends abruptly.  Lots of hinting as to where things are going, but I would have liked to be sure.

The narration work was done by Jamie Rose who is new to me.  She had a great rustic voice for Echo and voiced the others so that their gender, class, and character came out as clearly as the words describing them.  I thought she matched well for this style of story and would definitely listen to her work again.

All in all, it was exciting and fun with a great blend of historical, adventure, and romance by a master storyteller.  The family saga set against the American frontier was just the thing and I look forward to listening to more Sackett stories.  I can definitely recommend this one to historical, western, and adventure fans.


Challenges Met

Mt TBR #15
Audio #10
Historical Fiction #13
Literary Pickers #24 journey

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Mary Kirkland
9 months ago

Even with an abrupt ending, this sounds like it had some really interesting characters.

Sophia Rose
9 months ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

It really did. I just wanted more of Echo and Dorian after the end came instead of the hints at where it was going with them. 🙂

Crystal @ Lost in Storyland

I love how this book takes place in a time period that’s uncommon in historical fiction. The characters sound great as well.

Sophia Rose
9 months ago

I liked that aspect, too. It was an exciting time in history, but not because of war. 🙂

Carole Rae
9 months ago

I am a historical, western, and adventure fan…this does intrigue me.

Sophia Rose
9 months ago
Reply to  Carole Rae

Yes, it has it all. 🙂

Anne - Books of My Heart

I have read this author, a long time ago but it would be fun to read and try on audio. Fantastic review!

Sophia Rose
9 months ago

I’ve really been enjoying returning to his books through audio. They pick some really good narrator match ups.

sherry fundin
9 months ago

my dad used to read them and then i’d snatch them up
sherry @ fundinmental

Sophia Rose
9 months ago
Reply to  sherry fundin

How fun! That’s how I got started on his books, too.

Debbie Haupt
Debbie Haupt
9 months ago

Oh wow is this the same Sacketts like with Tom Selleck and Sam Elliot? I didn’t know the fab Mr. L’Amour wrote these. I could so get into this. Thanks Sophia Rose you always manage to teach me something. xo

Sophia Rose
9 months ago
Reply to  Debbie Haupt

Yep, this is those same Sacketts. This story is about their aunt Echo when she was younger. 🙂 I loved those TV adaptions of some of his books, too. 🙂

Angie Elle
9 months ago

Oh my gosh. You are making me nostalgic for the older western romances I used to read. LOL This sounds like a really good read! Maybe there will be more of them in a subsequent book? Fingers crossed!

Sophia Rose
9 months ago
Reply to  Angie Elle

I am hoping mention of this pair shows up in a later book, too. I’m just so curious about her and her family as well as Dorian’s family. 🙂

Jenea's Book Obsession
9 months ago

Sorry to hear it ends like that but it sounds it sounds really good and still turned out to be a good read for you.

Sophia Rose
9 months ago

Yeah, you could tell this one was meant to be centrally focused on the adventure b/c as soon as that part was over it came full stop. I was like “I need to know about the people!” LOL 🙂

Melliane
9 months ago

Oh it looks quite good and I didn’t know about it… A bit too ba for the end though

Sophia Rose
9 months ago
Reply to  Melliane

In spite of the end that had me grumbling b/c I was so curious, it was good stuff. 🙂

Greg
9 months ago

Ooh fun. “River travel is king”. I have to say that is an era that just seems like it would be fascinating to read about. I’ve only read one L’amour book before, I think but it was interesting and very descriptive as I recall.

Sophia Rose
9 months ago
Reply to  Greg

Yes, love the riverboat era and canal travel. 🙂 I agree that he does get pretty descriptive.

Rachel @Waves of Fiction

I’ve never read Louie L’amour, but I’d like to. This sounds like a fun adventure! I’ll check it out. 🙂

Sophia Rose
9 months ago

I got hooked as a kid reading my dad’s paperbacks, but its been fun to go back and start reading them as an adult now. Some are better than others, but this was one I had a good time with. 🙂

Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

I love a good family saga! Too bad about the abrupt ending. I’m glad you enjoyed this one overall Sophia 🙂

Sophia Rose
9 months ago

LOL, I wanted more about Echo and Dorian and the author stopped it right after they got through the adventure part. 🙂

Nadene
9 months ago

I have not read this author in the longest while. I used to devour his books. This one sounds fun. I really need to get back to reading his books. This looks like a good one to begin with, hopefully I can find the time.

Sophia Rose
9 months ago
Reply to  Nadene

Oh fun that you are an old fan, Nadene! Echo’s story was fun. 🙂

Lover of Romance
9 months ago

I am sorry to hear that the ending is so abrupt….that is always a disappointment when that happens. But I used to love reading this author. Such a classic one.

Sophia Rose
9 months ago

I did still want a bit more especially the relationship part because I was enjoying them. Yes, a well-loved author and a classic story. 🙂

Carole's Random Life in Books

I might just have to give this author a try after reading all of your reviews. This sounds like a great story even with the abrupt ending.

Sophia Rose
9 months ago

Oh yes, when you’re in the mood for a western, or in this case, early American frontier story. 🙂 Basically, he ended it right after the adventure part was over and I wanted to see the results of her adventure with her family and Dorian. 🙂

Carole Rae
9 months ago

Boring cover…but the summary and your review intrigue me!

Sophia Rose
9 months ago
Reply to  Carole Rae

I prefer some of the other covers for it, too, but it does get the setting right. Oh yes, this was a fun historical adventure, Carole. 🙂