CBR 13 BINGO: The Wilds
Giles’ Map of the World was one of my top 3 for CBR 10. LOVED that little book. My feelings for this one are the same. It hits “The Wilds” bingo square as the bulk of the story is spent travelling all over east Texas: the shores of the Rio Grande, the docks of Galveston, the swamps of Houston and the wagon trail from the Rio Grande Valley to San Antonio. The landscape of post Civil War Texas is one of the main characters here and Giles’ truly captures its dangerous and otherworldly beauty:
What a wealth of animals. Doris Dillon is travelling across a new world that seems to have no end and every life of the land delights her. It keeps on rolling beneath their wheels hour after hour and day after day and there are new, strange things every mile, some that dart away and others standing crowded together, holding up flat hands like dark green banditti in a play. They are called cactus and she has been told not to touch them.
A rag tag group of musicians, leftovers from various regiments that have disintegrated in the confusing aftermath of the war, make their way through Texas playing in hotels, bars and the occasional house party. Driven by his desire to find the young Irish governess that he believes is his future, the band’s fiddle player, Simon, desperately tries to hold the band together long enough to make the money he needs to buy land for a home.
It’s a gorgeous love story. A young woman’s longing for adventure and a young man’s determination to have a family woven together with music, poetry and the beauty of nature.