The American Wild West is characterized by outlaw cowboys venturing into the uncharted territories of our land. As more and more areas were explored, life began to take form—and with that came stories from the frontier. These frontier fictions touch on the bravery, dedication, and grit many people needed to survive in our rugged western land. The seven stories about the wild frontier listed below depict the courageous acts of survival men and women bravely undertook during this wave of expansion.
Fiction on the Frontier: 7 Books Set in the Wild West
The title gives it away: this story will bring readers deep into the West. When Cy Bellman hears that the bones of massive creatures have been discovered in Kentucky, he immediately abandons his former life to see for himself if giant monsters are still alive and roaming the earth. Leaving his daughter, Bess, with his sister, Cy sets off on an adventurous trek into the wilderness. Back in Pennsylvania, Bess eagerly awaits her father’s letters as she tracks his route on maps. As Bellman travels deeper and deeper into the American frontier, the eeriness of the unknown begins to unfold.
Follow the adventurous lives of twin sisters on the frontier. Blair, hot-tempered and set on becoming a doctor, falls for her sister Houston’s fiancé. Gaining her medical degree in a man’s world proves Blair is independent and proud, but she is also devious in her pursuit of her sister’s man. Even after Blair wins over Lee Westfield’s heart, mysteries abound. Why does Lee disappear at night, only to return the next morning exhausted and haunted. His silence may be taking a toll on their relationship, but it could mean even bigger consequences for Blair’s life.
entwines the fronteir adventures of two unforgettable sisters -- demure beauty Houston Chandler and her independent, hot-tempered twin Blair -- discover heartfelt passions as powerfully as compelling as ice and fire....
Twin of Fire
While dreaming of practicing medicine, Blair falls in love with her placid sister's fianceé, himself a doctor. Blair's impetuous spirit has won her a medical degree in a man's world -- and captured Lee Westfield's heart. But even as the couple's ardor grows, there are nights when Lee disappears only to return exhausted, haunted. His silence imperils their love, but the truth would imperil her life.
Trace Riley comes upon the smoldering wreckage of a wagon train and rescues Deborah Harkness, her sister, and two toddlers. But this destruction was no accident—it closely resembles an attack that left Trace the sole survivor years before on this very same trail. Since then, Trace has lived in the wilderness and deemed himself the guardian of the trail. Witnessing this horrific scene brings Trace to the realization that threats from the group responsible for the attack are still imminent. To keep Deborah and her crew safe until they’re ready to continue their travels, Trace offers up his home. Soon enough, Trace and Deborah draw closer and closer together as they protect and bring justice to the trail. But as the days roll on and winter turns to spring, Deborah wonders what she’ll do when her time in the mountains is up.
In FRONTIER AMERICA, Preacher, the father of a Crow tribesman, merely wants the local natives and the new settlers to live together in peace. Although Jamie Ian MacCallister works to negotiate a peace, bloodshed arises between the divided groups. As a brutal bloodbath unfolds across the frontier, these two heroes are forced to either come together or choose a side and battle to the death.
Nora, a frontierswoman, is awaiting the return of the men in her life: her husband, who has gone in search of water, and her older sons, who have run away after an argument. Nora waits with her youngest son, who is convinced a mysterious beast is roaming the lands around their home. When Nora’s life inevitably intersects with that of Lurie, a former outlaw who is haunted by the fact that he can see ghosts, suspense and surprise take hold. This mythical and brilliantly written novel takes place in the drought-ridden lands of the Arizona Territory in 1893, and is one you won’t want to miss.
After the Civil War, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd travels across northern Texas to deliver world news to those who care to listen. During these travels, the captain is offered money in exchange for helping a young orphan to reach her family in San Antonio. The duo’s four-hundred-mile journey south through unsettled territory is both difficult and dangerous, to say the least. Yet as the pair treks on, they eventually begin to trust each other, forming an unexpected bond. But when they finally arrive in San Antonio, the captain is faced with a decision: turn the girl over to a family that doesn’t want her or bear the consequences of hiding her from the law.
This story follows a family of Swedish immigrants, the Bergsons, who live in the farm country near Hanover, Nebraska, at the turn of the twentieth century. When Alexandra Bergson’s father passes, she inherits the family farm. Though many other immigrant families are giving up farm life and leaving the prairie during this time, Alexandra is determined to preserve her family’s farm.
This is the first book in Willa Cather’s Prairie Trilogy, followed by THE SONG OF THE LARK and MY ÁNTONIA. These are devastatingly sad and sorrowful stories. They are also vividly American—with the beautiful yet cruel landscape, the precariousness of life on the untamed prairie, the unending heartache and heartbreak of love, and the ways families fail us, save us, and push us into doing things far beyond our capacities. Cather isn’t read much these days, but she should be. She forged new trails for American women writers.
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