Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Silver Queen-Jane Candia Coleman

The Silver Queen
Jane Candia Coleman
Leisure, Jan 2009, $7.99
ISBN: 0843961058

In the late 1850s Augusta Pierce and Horace "Haw" Tabor marry and leave Maine for the “Bleeding” Kansas Territory. Soon afterward gold is rumored to have been found in the Rockies so Haw with his wife join the “Fifty-Niners” heading to West Kansas Territory. For the next two decades the flexible Tabors make a living in various jobs amongst the silver-mining towns. When they were short cash, Augusta worked the mines alongside Haw; they were a team.

When they finally become the wealthiest couple in the Colorado Territory as Western Kansas is now called, Augusta remains thrifty as she remembers the bad times. On the other hand Haw relishes his affluence flaunting his nouveau riche status and becoming a successful politician. When he meets Elizabeth “Baby Doe” McCourt, he dumps Augusta. Once their divorce is final he marries "Baby Doe". Augusta knows her soul mate dropped her, but she never quits on life; thriving without her Haw at her side.

This is a superb biographical fiction that focuses on the lives of three intriguing individuals who were major regional figures in the latter half of the nineteenth century in Colorado. The prime focus is actually on THE SILVER QUEEN, Augusta; however because much of what occurs happens with Haw and later with Baby Doe, the story line provides a deep look at their triangle. Fans will appreciate this superb Americana as Jane Candia Coleman writes an insightful look at three strong obstinate people.

Harriet Klausner

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