A novel about a seminal and shameful moment in America's conquest of the West. Drawing partly from a true story, it brings to life a devastating Native American revolt and the woman caught in the middle of the conflict.
A welcome new display of [Moore's] masterful approach to the undercurrent of violence that she believes runs beneath all human behavior ... Moore is a master of smallness. Her deceptively simple sentences are like geysers. The churning energy underneath is violent, animal and sexual.
Remarkable ... The Lost Wife is indeed based on a true account of one woman’s experiences during the Sioux Uprising of 1862. It is, therefore, a thrilling if appalling adventure story. But this narrative is also an emotionally intense portrait of a resourceful woman whose courage—and conscience—will be horribly tested by war and barbarism ... While the tone of The Lost Wife is intimate, the sweep of history and of a vast continent is nonetheless palpable ... Ms. Moore’s control never falters.
Spare, lyrical ... Moore’s title captures not only Sarah’s anguish but also that of all the lost wives and lost souls whose illusions had carried them to a vaunted frontier whose promise had become saturated in blood. In replacing long-held legends with traumas, Moore’s steely vision of the American West recognizes few, if any, heroes. The result is a repudiation — solemn yet stirring — of the idealized fable of the American West.