Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Review: Captive Trail by Susan Page Davis

Captive Trail

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it


The Captive Trail is second in a six-book series about four generations of the Morgan family living, fighting, and thriving amidst a turbulent Texas history spanning from 1845 to 1896. Although a series, each book can be read singularly.

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 is Billie Morgan. 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 (Billie) and Ned we learn the true meaning of healing and restoration amid seemingly powerless situations.

My Review

I've read some fictional accounts before of captives escaping from Indian tribes, and while this story is not as gritty, raw, or descriptive as others, it still shares the reality of how turbulent and violent the interactions between settlers and natives were at the time. Taabe's story is revealed in layers throughout the book as she looks back on her time among the Comanche, struggles to remember her life before that, and learns to live in the white world again. She befriends the man who rescued her, and Ned's patience and kindness to her was endearing. He both wishes for and dreads the day when she will discover her true family and be reunited with them. I enjoyed the nuns with whom she lives at the mission, each having their own personality and idiosyncrasies. Taabe's point of view shows us the difficulty she has understanding and communicating, but she quickly learns with the help of the nuns and their young ward and her perspective shifts along with her growing knowledge. I felt tense anticipation throughout novel waiting for the inevitable Indian attack from her pursuers, and the climactic battle scene is both harrowing and inspiring.

(Thank you to Moody Publishers for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

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