Catie's Reviews > Paint the Wind

Paint the Wind by Cathy Cash Spellman
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Jul 08, 12

bookshelves: america, victorian, historical
Recommended to Catie by: Misfit
Read from July 03 to 06, 2012

Fancy is rescued from her parents' burning Louisiana mansion by Atticus, a slave and treks west where she will meet the McAllister brothers; farm boys orphaned by diphtheria and hoping to make their fortune by digging for gold.. The relationships between these three and the assortment of exotic friends made along the way form the core of this panoramic novel which crosses America several times and takes in the worlds of the Circus, Theatre, Art, Mining, Geronimo and the Apaches, The Paris art world and much more.
This book ate my life for four days. It defeated my expectations time and again; I was gripped and did not want to put it down. We were away from home but I read it every minute I could do so politely and probably quite a few when it would have been more polite to put it down. It's been a while since any book grabbed me quite so hard and for this reason I am giving it five stars even though it is by no means a perfect book.
I often complain about the blandness, sterility and lack of invention in much current literature so it goes against the grain to say this but I think this book has a few too many characters, goes a few too many places. It's a seething rich stew but the flavour might have been improved and refined by a little restraint with the ingredients. Having said that, I would be hard pressed to choose who to lose between say, Magda, the Gypsy seer and Jewel the gun-toting madam, or between Gitalis, the theatrical dwarf and Ford Hamilton the outlaw. Some cutbacks might have made this a finer novel but maybe not a better read.
I'll never get those four days back and that's just fine.
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Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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message 1: by Hannah (new) - added it

Hannah Wow, what a great review, Catie. I'm going to have to move this up in my TBR pile.


Catie Thanks Hannah, make sure you have some clear time because if it grabs you as it did me, it will be very frustrating to keep having to put it down...


Misfit That must have been hard trying not to read the book when good manners would say you shouldn't. I loved this to bits and it is on my keeper shelf.

Those older novels do tend to go on, but I still prefer them for the most part.


Catie It was hard! I found myself creeping back when I knew I really shouldn't on any kind of slim excuse. Thankfully I was with family for the most part; they know my wicked ways and are very tolerant. Thanks for the recommend!


Misfit There's times I'm glad I'm not that close to my brothers (parents are gone) and not forced into big family stuff. I'm a bump on a log, with nothing in common with anyone else at the party. Smoking and football? No thanks.

Glad you enjoyed this one, it really was one hell of a ride.


message 6: by Catie (last edited Jul 08, 2012 10:39AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Catie I know what you mean but this was good family for the most part - visiting my daughter and baby granddaughter. It did involve some time with my son-in-law's family as well but I like them.
However when I'm well stuck into a book I could wish them all away. I read Lord of the Rings for the first time on return from honeymoon (Well over thirty years ago; I was eighteen) and all my new husband could get out of me was grunts and sighs.
What is it with people who must ask you if it's a good book when clearly you'd rather be reading it than talking to them?


Misfit What is it with people who must ask you if it's a good book when clearly you'd rather be reading it than talking to them?

Only avid book addicts like us would understand...


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