Cover image for Gabriella
Murray, Earl.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Forge, 1999.
Physical Description:
319 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
General Note:
"A Tom Doherty Associates book."
Format :


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X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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A gripping novel of love and a dangerous journey across the Oregon Trail by one of the leading names in fiction of the American frontier.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

In this novel composed entirely of journal entries written by his two main protagonists, Murray revisits his formulaic plot--in which a refined and adventurous Englishwoman (in this case, Gabriella McFarlane) meets a mountain man (Quincannon) and falls madly in love--with considerably less success than in his previous tale, In the Arms of the Sky [BKL Ag 98]. Gabriella is a talented painter traveling with her fiance, Sir Edward Garr, on what she believes is a hunting trip, when, in reality, Edward is a British spy for the Hudson Bay Company. Quincannon, the owner of a rival fur trading company, hires on as a guide to keep an eye on Garr and to make eyes at Gabriella. As they face harsh trails and hostile Indians (are they ever anything else?), Gabriella must choose which path and which man to follow. Readers who enjoy Murray will go for this, but it is not a good introduction to his work. --Melanie Duncan

Publisher's Weekly Review

The author of more than 20 historical novels about frontier America (Ghosts of the Old West), Murray captures both the fantastic challenges and the tedious drudgery of pioneer travel. Set in 1846, his latest follows the adventures of Gabriella Hall, a young English woman who has traveled from Lancashire to accompany her fianc‚, Sir Edward Albert Waterston-Garr III, on a hunting expedition across the Rocky Mountains. Garr has other things on his mind, however, mainly to stem the flow of American emigrants into Oregon, which he perceives as British territory. The story is one of survival of the fittest, as various Indian tribes struggle to protect their lands from encroaching settlers; pioneers lose life and limb to establish homesteads; and mother nature takes her unpredictable course. The silk-gloved Hall fares quite nicely, particularly with the able-bodied and open-minded "mountain man" Owen James Quincannon at her side. Quincannon, an independent trapper bent on getting to Oregon on behalf of the American Fur Company, leads Garr's expedition in hopes of keeping an eye on the shady Brit. Along the way, Quincannon encourages Hall's talent as a portrait artist, and the two find love based on mutual respect and admiration. More compelling than Hall and Quincannon's romance, or Garr's evil ways, however, are the often tragic destinies of the supporting characters encountered along the way. An inept, reluctant hunter shoots his own arm off; another man jumps a runaway wagon to save his baby and is sliced in half by a windowpane. Vivid, imaginative descriptions, like that of cherished belongings finally abandoned and strewn along the final leg of an arduous Rockies journey, pepper Murray's novel with wistful, memorable visions. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved