ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
From Susan: I've always loved reading, history, and horses. These things come together in several of my historical books. My young adult novel, Sarah's Long Ride, also spotlights horses and the rugged sport of endurance riding, as does the contemporary romance Trail to Justice. I took a vocational course in horseshoeing after earning a bachelor's degree in history. I don't shoe horses anymore, but the experience has come in handy in writing my books.
Another longtime hobby of mine is genealogy, which has led me down many fascinating paths. I'm proud to be a DAR member! Some of Jim's and my quirkier ancestors have inspired fictional characters.
For many years I worked for the Central Maine Morning Sentinel as a freelancer, covering local government, school board meetings, business news, fires, auto accidents, and other local events, including a murder trial. I've also written many profiles and features for the newspaper and its special sections. This experience was a great help in developing fictional characters and writing realistic scenes. I also published nonfiction articles in several magazines and had several short stories appear in Woman's World, Grit, and Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine.
My husband, Jim, and I moved to his birth state, Oregon, for a while after we were married, but decided to move back to Maine and be near my family. We're so glad we did. It allowed our six children to grow up feeling close to their cousins and grandparents, and some of Jim's family have even moved to Maine!
Our children are all home-schooled. The two youngest are still learning at home. Jim recently retired from his vocation as an editor at a daily newspaper, and we’ve moved from Maine to Kentucky.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Taabe Waipu has run away from her Comanche village and is fleeing south in Texas on a horse she stole from a dowry left outside her family’s teepee. The horse has an accident and she is left on foot, injured and exhausted. She staggers onto a road near Fort Chadbourne and collapses.
On one of the first runs through Texas, Butterfield Overland Mail Company driver Ned Bright carries two Ursuline nuns returning to their mission station. They come across a woman who is nearly dead from exposure and dehydration and take her to the mission.
With some detective work, Ned discovers Taabe Waipu identity. He plans to unite her with her family, but the Comanche have other ideas, and the two end up defending the mission station. Through Taabe and Ned we learn the true meaning of healing and restoration amid seemingly powerless situations.
If you would like to read the first chapter of Captive Trail, go HERE.
My Rating: Fall/Spring
In Captive Trail, Susan Page Davis creates an interesting tale woven with subtle suspense and sweetness. Taabe Waipu is a young woman with a complicated past - with most of her memories coming from her experiences as a captive in a Comanche tribe. As the title of the book would suggest, Captive Trail is mainly Taabe's story - escaping captivity and re-learning life as she once knew it - but some great secondary characters (from kindly and courageous nuns to a spunky and chatty young girl) round the book out nicely.
Ned Bright is the typical romance-novel hero - protective, understanding, and apparently pretty good-looking. However, his character is pretty two-dimensional. In the very beginning he's rather ambivalent and not overly attractive. The sudden, rather inexplicable feelings that arise in both Taabe's and Ned's hearts part way though the book are a little tough to swallow.
The story is a bit stilted and lacks depth in certain areas (like Ned's character). But the story eventually flows a little easier once the characters get settled in and the tension starts to mount. The plot, while not completely action-packed, is an intriguing one, and Taabe's musings and concerns raise some meaningful questions for the reader. I recommend Captive Trail for those who enjoy a light historical romance set in the American West.
*With thanks to Moody Publishers through CFBA for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*