Apache Lament

Written by Patrick Dearen
Review by Linda Harris Sittig

This western novel is based upon the actual events of January 1881, when a small contingent of Texas Rangers tracked the last free group of Mescaleros up into the frozen Diablos Mountains in Northern Texas. In this stark landscape, Sam DeJarnett accompanies his fellow rangers, but his primary goal is revenge. Eight months ago, his young pregnant wife was killed in an Apache raid, and Sam’s grief and anger are all that is keeping him alive.

As the rangers follow the Apaches higher into the mountains, the story’s point of view switches to Nejeunee, a young Apache woman whose husband was killed by government soldiers in the same battle where Sam’s wife met her demise. Nejeunee is desperately trying to escape to protect the life of her baby. As Sam and Nejeunee are thrown together by fate, each one will have to come to terms with learning to understand a hated enemy.

A thoroughly enjoyable read; I just wish there had been a map for me to follow the geography of the events.