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When cholera strikes San Antonio in 1843, Aurelia Ruiz discovers that she might have the power to heal–and also to curse. Meanwhile, Joseph Kimmel, a schoolteacher in Missouri and the son of a Polish Jew, learns of his brother’s death in San Antonio and sets off for Texas. On his way, a runaway slave steals his horse. After being rescued by Henry Castro, a man who is importing immigrants to populate his planned city, Castroville, Joseph agrees to marry a young Alsatian girl to save her from a Comanche chief who has demanded her. Then Joseph encounters Aurelia and becomes enamored with her.
Comanches, Tonkaways, Mexican vaqueros, immigrant farmers, and runaway slaves all play a part in Joseph’s rebirth as a rancher, but when a renegade band of Texas Rangers descends upon the ranch, everything changes.
“A completely engaging tale following a handful of remarkable settlers.”–Entertainment Weekly
“Lively. . . . Vivid characters. . . . Enthralling reading.”–The Miami Herald
“Compelling. . . . That Vida brings so much fresh energy to the timeworn Western genre–complex characters, engaging stories, cutting-edge historical revisionism–is no small feat.”–Austin American-Statesman
“An imaginative and thoroughly researched tale driven by intriguing characters.”–Denver Post
“Should be placed on the same shelf with Lonesome Dove, Texas, and Pale Horse, Pale Rider.”–The Monitor (Texas)