June 4, 2013

Cheyenne Amber

Title: Cheyenne Amber
Author: Catherine Anderson
Publisher: Signet 2013. (First published 1994)
Format:  Paperback 408 pages
Genre:  Historical/Western/Romance

Summary from Back Cover
1864, Colorado: Born and bred in Boston, Laura Cheney was used to civilised society.  She never dreamed she would wind up in Colorado wilderness with her newborn son - widowed and very much alone.

But her fragile allure and amber eyes hide a spirit to be reckoned with - and a mother's fierce protectiveness.  When her son is kidnapped, Laura turns to a man feared by many and trusted by few.

Raised as a Cheyenne, Deke is considered a renegade to his own kind.  But his steely reserve is no match for Laura's beauty.  And to win her trust and devotion Deke will stop at nothing....

My thoughts:
Firstly I really enjoy Catherine Anderson's books, and always expect to like them!  As this has been a book that has been long out of print, it was a pleasure to have the opportunity to read one of her earlier works.

I liked the main characters very much.  Laura is a woman with guts and spirit.  When the reader first meets her, she has lost her trust in men, her father was a cold, egocentric man and her husband a poor specimen of mankind. Deke is outwardly tough and at first unwilling to help Laura when she is desperate.  However as they begin a journey through a tough countryside, they also begin a journey into letting their walls down.  Through many challenges they come to realise what is of value and importance to each of them.

I especially found fascinating the time spent in the Cheyenne village.  Catherine Anderson says she spent quite a bit of time on research, so I am trusting that the customs she shared were from that era.  Life there could be harsh, but also filled with family, love and wisdom.  As I read this part I was reminded of Dances With Wolves, and although that movie was about a different tribe, I felt the same sadness for a people who had such little chance against the inexorable movement of the white people in the nineteenth century.

This story is a western, it reminded me of some of the Zane Grey novels I read years ago when they were all I could find to read.  This story was full of adventure, action, mystery, humour and romance.  It spoke of choices - a choice for a hard, difficult way of living or a genteel, wealthy, safe way of living.  Boston or Colorado.  Safety or love and the values of intimacy and joy in the seemingly simple things in life.

Personally I think there were places where the story was a little too drawn out, a bit more editing here and there would have sharpened it up.  Still a worthwhile read.


  1. My daughter loves this author. I've read a few of her books, not sure which ones though!

  2. Nise
    I am a total sucker for them. They are a real warm comfort cosy read!


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