Young Harvard graduate William Cabott Weston III has decided not to join the family firm and pursues a career as a journalist instead. When he manages to land a job with the Chicago Tribune, they send him to Columbus, New Mexico to cover Pancho Villa’s recent attack. When Cabott arrives in Columbus, he meets Idaho lumberjack Monte Segundo. Segundo is there to join General Pershing’s expedition into Mexico to capture Villa. The army rejects Segundo, so he and Cabott decide to venture into Mexico on their own. When they reach Las Palomas, they save guerrilla fighter Rosa from abusive soldiers and the odd now-trio continues the journey into 1916 Mexico, a politically volatile place with warring factions.
The characters are vividly described with insight and sensitivity. Difficult topics such as PTSD, war crimes, and white privilege are skillfully illustrated. The effect the events have on the characters is so well described that readers will feel like they are on the journey themselves. The plot moves swiftly forward, but with a great many lucky coincidences, making the resolution a little too neat. Nevertheless, this is a very enjoyable read. I would recommend it not just to fans of Western literature, but to anyone who enjoys well-written historical fiction.