Here’s to the Ladies: Stories of the Frontier Army

Written by Carla Kelly
Review by Eileen Charbonneau

Spur-winning author Carla Kelly weaves a collection of nine stories that pay tribute to characters invariably overlooked in official records of the US Western Frontier Army records—the women and children. With tones that vary from heart-stopping adventure story to wry satire, heartbreaking memoir to the shimmering beauty of magical realism, these stories sing of wives, daughters, laundresses and prostitutes. And their men in all ranks and life stations, many living scorched in the long, dark shadow of the Civil War.

From an Irish widow struggling through the longest winter of her life, to an expressive bride yanked from her lover’s arms when taken for a “fille de joie,” to a post surgeon’s wife whose heart embraces both a daughter and a Sioux-born son, all are unforgettable. The moments Ms. Kelly catches in her web are of waiting, loss, struggle, survival, endurance, and deep and abiding love—the stuff of soul.

Here’s to Carla Kelly! Historical fiction at its finest.