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Not Seton's best work, but still an interesting read
on 14 July 2007
This is the story of Santa Fe (Fey) Cameron, named after the town she was born in, Santa Fe New Mexico. Her high born spanish mother died in childbirth, and her father (the disinherited younger son of a highland laird) died when she was a young girl, leaving her to be raised by a lower class mexican family. When Fey turns 17 she meets Terry Dillon, a handsome, charming but ever so unscrupulous medicine man who is headed back east to make his fortune in New York after having run afoul of something in San Francisco. At this same time, a distant cousin of Fey's travels to Santa Fe in search of her on behalf of her grandfather, who is now sorry for the estrangement between himself and his (now dead) son, and wants them brought home to Scotland. Ewen just misses Fey, and his trail turns cold.
Once they reach New York, Terry leaves a pregnant Fey to her own resources as he leaves for brighter pastures. Fey takes work where she can, and sets her sights on the very wealthy and powerful Simeon Tower. Fey's cousin Ewen just misses her once again prior to her marriage to Simeon. The story slows down a bit after this point, as the author describes the opulent lifestyles of the very rich in 1870's New York as Simeon and Fey try to crack the upper circle of New York society.
The story picks up again as a surprise return from the past threatens Fey and Simeon, and Fey finally comes to realize that she has only herself to blame for the choices she made in life and that she is not a victim of circumstance, and that she will have to atone for those bad choices.
All in all a pleasant read, but certainly not up to the high standards Seton set with Katherine, Devil Water and the Winthrop Woman. I enjoyed the first part of the book the most, the author did a lovely job of describing old Santa Fe and New Mexico, along with the trip east on the Santa Fe Trail. If you come across a copy of this out of print book and are a fan of Seton, it's a pleasant way to spend an afternoon or two reading, but I wouldn't go out of my way for a copy, nor pay a fortune for it used unless you're a serious collector. 3.5 stars.