by Mary Doria Russell
Hardcover, 394 pg.
Random House, 2013
Read: June 9-13, 2012
I was almost 100 pages into this novel when the thought occurred to me how extraordinarily careful Russell was in the way she put this together. Not that I think most authors are sloppy or anything, but the effort to make sure every piece, every word, every event was placed juuuust so was very evident.
The result of all this care is a heckuva novel about the years and events leading up to Wyatt & Morgan Earp heading to Tombstone with their good buddy Doc Holliday. Warm, exciting, brutal–this novel reads like a fast-paced biography. Really, really well written–there are a couple of times that Russell overplays her hand and gets downright manipulative, and at least once she almost lost me while doing so.
I’m glad I stuck it out tho’, the climax was as heart-breaking as it was heart-warming, and the coda put a nice little bow on the whole thing. Well worth the time and effort.