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Running West

af James Houston

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341564,073 (3.75)1
Both a love story and an adventure novel, this is the story of a man indentured to the Hudson Bay Company, a Dene Indian woman, and a journey into the wilderness for furs and gold.
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This is the second book by James Houston that I have read and I have really enjoyed both of them. In this book a young Scottish man, William, ends up indentured to the Hudson's Bay Company and because he can read, write and calculate he is sent as a clerk to York Factory. Soon after his arrival a young Dene woman is brought to the fort by local Cree who found her at their hunting camp. Thana and her cousin were kidnapped from her family's encampment by a vicious man from a rival tribe, the Wood Cats. They managed to get away from him but her cousin drowned and Thana barely survived. William has a gift for learning languages so the Governor asks him to learn Dene from Thana. As they work together learning each other's language William and Thana fall in love. So wehn the Governor suggests that the two of them and some Cree "run west" to Thana's native land they are quite happy to do so. The Governor's aim is to find the source of gold and copper that the Dene are known to possess. There are plenty of hardships on their journey and that had me reading late into the night.

Houston really captures the lifestyle of the fur traders and their native contacts. He spent many years in the Arctic and brought Inuit art to the attention of the rest of the world. According to his obituary in the New York Times he travelled with the Inuit and lived as they did. This book has exquisite little drawings sprinkled through it done by Houston who was also an acclaimed artist. ( )
  gypsysmom | Nov 25, 2011 |
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Both a love story and an adventure novel, this is the story of a man indentured to the Hudson Bay Company, a Dene Indian woman, and a journey into the wilderness for furs and gold.

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