The Removes ~by Tatjana Soli

Thank you to the publisher for sending me a free copy of the book. 

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Spanning the years of the first great settlement of the west, The Removes tells the intertwining stories of fifteen-year-old Anne Cummins, frontierswoman Libbie Custer, and Libbie’s husband, the Civil War hero George Armstrong Custer. When Anne survives a surprise attack on her family’s homestead, she is thrust into a difficult life she never anticipated—living among the Sioux as both a captive and, eventually, a member of the tribe. Libbie, too, is thrown into a brutal, unexpected life when she marries Custer. They move out to the territories with the U.S. Army, where Libbie is challenged daily and her worldview expanded: the pampered daughter of a small-town judge, she transforms into a daring camp follower. But when what Anne and Libbie have come to know—self-reliance, freedom, danger—is suddenly altered through tragedy and loss, they realize how indelibly shaped they are by life on the treacherous, extraordinary American plains.

With taut, suspenseful writing, Tatjana Soli tells the exhilarating stories of Libbie and Anne, who have grown like weeds into women unwilling to be restrained by the strictures governing nineteenth-century society. The Removes is a powerful, transporting novel about the addictive intensity and freedom of the American frontier.


I’ll be completely honest and admit to you that I don’t know much about this time in our country’s history. And I generally don’t read about it because I often find myself growing bored with the scenery and events, etc. But this book focuses on the women (we all know that I prefer to hear the women’s story), and I haven’t been presented with a synopsis like this one before. So I decided I needed to give it a try.

What interested me was history from a ground-level viewpoint — one filled with unimagineable crime, cultural genocide, violence, and racism — from angles that we aren’t used to seeing, namely, women’s.

This book turned out to be so much more than I expected. I was completely enthralled with the storylines, while simultaneously devastated by the violence.  Full disclosure: the violence in this book is pretty graphic. It felt like a kick to the face when I read the first scene. And yet, by the time I got the end of the book I almost felt inured to it, because it was so frequent. And I don’t say that to discourage anyone, but rather to point out that, in my opinion, Soli accomplished getting the reader to experience what life was like during this time. Violence was constant and all around.

. . . Violence was routine, and I felt it was necessary to include it in graphic specificity because this weighed on the minds of the characters and colored their actions. It was real and everyday, banal and terrifying all at the same time.

Overall, I was absolutely fascinated with this book. It wasn’t an easy read, nor was it a quick read. It was intense and disturbing, and I walked away from it with a greater knowledge and interest in the early American West. Soli did a tremendous amount of research (she includes a bibliography in the book), and it shows. She includes original artwork and photographs, as well as some short narratives between chapters. If you have even the slightest interest in this synopsis, I recommend giving it a try. ~Amber

**An interview with Soli was included with the book when it was sent from the publisher. Her quotes were taken from that interview.

Learn about the author on her Website. Visit her online on Facebook and Twitter.

96B16AC5-AD35-431B-AAEE-CD2AF19A5427Thank you to TLC Book Tours for organizing this tour. Find the rest of the tour stops Here.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Thanks for being on the tour!


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