A beautiful and often touching narrative from a talented Kansas writer. Boucher's compelling story is written with a strong love and honest respect for the historical characters that once traversed the Old West. The gritty prose, always rich and well-paced, is equally poetic and terse. Throughout this narrative, Boucher successfully manages to combine a few subtle elements of Hamlet with the rugged landscape of the western genre while staying true to the life of Henry Brown. The novel, dealing with the beginning of the "civilized" west, is extremely thought-provoking and offers the reader strong evocations of place, atmosphere and multi-dimensional characters. The true beauty of this novel is that it is not only for fans of western fiction. This novel is a MUST for a fan of any kind of fiction. Do not dismiss this narrative as mere genre writing. Fans of Steinbeck, Twain, McMurtry, and James Lee Burke will not be disappointed. Don't let this one pass you by. It is essential reading about the human condition...for any century.