RaveThe Texas ObserverYou want to use phrases like \'ripping yarn\' and \'helluva story\' for Sarah Bird’s new page-turner, but that makes Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen sound un-literary. It is, and isn’t—both in the best ways. This sweeping historical fiction spanning the Civil War to post-Reconstruction is nothing if not reader-friendly in a way that seems to call up the very power of the novel itself ... Daughter leaps out as a shared experience between writer and reader as vital as that between movie screen and cheering audience at a Saturday matinee. It makes demands, as does good literature, but also is generous with rewards. Fleshing out a skeleton of facts about Williams’ life, Bird produces a memorable recreation not just of this barely known American hero, but also of the thoroughly racist country in which she both suffered and triumphed.
PositiveThe Texas ObserverThis epistolary form enables the book to shape a narrative within its own boundaries of imagination, convincingly sealed off from modern sensibilities. It also facilitates a feel for the period through replication of the Bible-inflected 19th-century frontier language. But the form has a price: Retrieved memory can never be as passionate and dramatic as a tale told through direct action and dialogue. Crook takes the challenge in stride ... even if limited to a certain type of European settler experience, these adventure tales, if told well, are plenty riveting and enduring. The Which Way Tree is told well.