“This is a book to prize, and not only for its gritty realism, exciting action, and compelling characters. The story further engages us by examining the ties that hold family and community together. Not many Westerns do that. Heartily recommended!”
~C.K. Crigger, Author of The Winning Hand and The Gunsmith Series
Western Writers’ Newsletter, Nov. 2002
“It’s tight and holds the interest and—as always—[Marsha Ward’s] writing is clear, descriptive and gripping…vivid to the point of breathtaking…. [Her] characterization is so good…a more than terrific read!”
~Kerry Blair, Best-Selling Author of Mummy’s the Word and Ghost of a Chance
“THE MAN FROM SHENANDOAH is a book for the whole family to share. It offers action, romance and a realistic premise. …Ms. Ward is a true storyteller who has created characters that demand and hold the reader’s interest…. [Her] clear and vivid writing sweeps us along with her characters on their adventures.”
~Anne Haw Holt, Author of Riding Fence and Blanco Sol
Western Fiction Review April/May 2003.
“Whatever happened to good, old fashioned westerns? If you’ve ever gazed over the shelves wondering this, then Ms. Ward has a book for you. It recaptures the simpler, more genteel times that used to be essential to the Hollywood Westerns starring people like Henry Fonda and Gary Cooper.”
~Cindy Lynn, Midwest Book Review—Reviewer’s Bookwatch, September 2003.
“For Civil War or Western romance lovers, this one is a bit of both. The story follows Carl Owen after the end of the Civil War. He comes home to find his brother has been killed in the war and his family is on the brink of ruin…. I found THE MAN FROM SHENANDOAH immediately mesmerizing.”
~Jennifer Hill-Russell, Roundtable Reviews, October 15, 2003.
A reader in Mesa writes:
“This is one of the best western novels I have ever read. It is filled with exciting adventures and characters that make the book come alive.”
An author in Arizona writes:
“Reading Marsha Ward’s THE MAN FROM SHENANDOAH is like experiencing time travel. I can be curled up comfortably on my couch in the 21st century, and find myself crying for the losses, chuckling at jokes, cheering the triumphs, and booing the bad guys from the 19th century.”
~Rachel Andersen, Author of A Nurse’s World
From a reader in Mesa:
“THE MAN FROM SHENANDOAH is an excellent read. Had a hard time putting it down. The characters are well developed and the description of the locations is vivid. I have read many Westerns and this book is ranked with the best. Highly recommended.”
From an Illinois reader:
“Marsha, congratulations on a very well written book. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters and the story line. Hope there is a sequel.”
From a Utah reader:
“Hi Marsha, I bought your book, THE MAN FROM SHENANDOAH, but I haven’t read it yet. However, my 12-year-old can’t seem to put it down. She says it is a wonderful book.
“It is nice to own a book from somebody you know. Even though we did not do the work, we feel proud that one of our friends did such a wonderful work.
From a reader in Arizona:
In the Tradition of Louis L’Amour
“This book follows the great tradition of Louis L’Amour. Marsha Ward’s characters are believable and could very well have existed in the Old West. Carl Owen and his family reflect the gritty determination to stand up for what’s right no matter the cost.”
Two readers in Mesa, Arizona write:
“Dennis and I thoroughly enjoyed reading your book. We read about half of your book on the way up to Utah. And while we were there, we found ourselves thinking of Carl and Ida and Ellen and Rod and Julia etc. etc. etc. as if they were real people. We could not wait to get back to reading. On the way home, we took turns reading. I have never been able to read that much in a car. But, I found myself reading for 1 hour, 2 hours, 3 hours before I took my turn driving and let Dennis read. What great humor! We loved the ending. Your way of describing the feelings and emotions of the characters of your story made them come alive to us. What great talent! Several times Dennis and I commented on your gift to write. Thank you for sharing this with us. We can’t wait to read your next book.”
~Susan and Dennis
From an Arizona reader:
“I stayed up til midnight last night finishing your book. I was going to just read for an hour or so but I got into it and couldn’t put it down. Great book! Great ending. I really, really enjoyed it. [My husband] Steve was going to take it out of town with him because he got into it. But I wouldn’t let him. 🙂 I highly recommend it.”
From a reader in Utah:
“I finished THE MAN FROM SHENANDOAH at half-past midnight because I couldn’t put it down. I didn’t know I was a western aficionado, but your book made me want to find a horse and put my hubby in riding gear (loved the cover). This was a great story; the gripping action, the believable characters, and the historical research. I loved that it was as much a romance as it was a family western, and I never realized I was a romance aficionado either!
“You skillfully took me into the past—the Owens had me there with the dust and the snowstorms and western towns and prairie fire. Especially beneficial was the story’s ability to inspire me to be a better wife. I don’t want to be so much like that shallow Ida (gulp); I best be gettin’ more like Miss Ellen! Your blood, sweat and tears paid off; I will add your sequel(s) to my bookcase as well. Thank you for the fast-paced adventure, Marsha Dear!”
“Carl Owen has just returned from serving his country in the Civil War. Things have not gone well for his family while he was gone—the farm is destroyed and one of his brothers was killed. His father wants to take the family and relocate, start afresh out West somewhere away from the ravages of the war. The Owen family loved living in the Shenandoah Valley, but they will follow their patriarch wherever he asks them to go—almost willingly. His brother James is nearly engaged and he doesn’t want to leave his girl behind, but it’s either that or lose his family.
“Mr. Owen talks to some of his neighbors and convinces many of them to leave with him. Two pretty young women will be coming along on the journey, and Mr. Owen thinks it right that they become engaged to Carl and James right off the bat. The only trouble is, during the journey, Carl develops feelings for the girl arranged to marry James. Now Carl has to decide what’s more important—following his heart or staying true to his brother, and no matter which way he turns, someone is going to get hurt.
“THE MAN FROM SHENANDOAH is a combination romance/great western saga as we see these families make their way across the unforgiving land to a new territory, where they hope to start all over again. Enough action, horses and gunplay to keep the menfolk riveted with enough kissin’ and spoonin’ to satisfy the women, this novel is a glimpse into America’s past and the people who lived in it.”
~Tristi Pinkston, author of Nothing to Regret, Strength to Endure, and Season of Sacrifice.
Tristi’s Takes Blog, October 9, 2008