Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Beautiful Set Up: Territory

TerritoryI slowly inched my way through Emma Bull's Territory, reading a few pages every few days.  I have a stack of books I read like this, and I usually end up hitting some magical point where I speed through the rest, but in Territory this didn't happen until around page 300.  Yet I never considered stopping; I enjoyed the characters and the setting, but the plot never urged me along.  There was a mystery, but it wasn't all that important to the people I was interested it, although it had vast implications for the people affecting their lives.

Now that I've (finally) finished the book, I'm reluctant to let it go.  The characters, especially Jesse and Mildred, have finally figured out who they are and what they want.  The book has reached an emotionally perfect stopping point, but I really wish I could watch them as they reap the consequences of their growth.

The book is based around Tombstone, Arizona in the days of President Garfield, with Doc Holliday and the Earp brothers, and I suspect that people who actually have a clue about the history involved probably knew a lot more about what was going to happen that I did.  I had the vague impression that everybody dies, but either they don't or the story stopped before we got that far.  Maybe someday Bull will write that sequel, which I'll snap up and then read slow.

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