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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Days of Hope, Miles of Misery: Love and Loss on the Oregon Trail is a work of fiction in the history, drama and realistic sub-genres, and was penned by author Fred Dickey. Written for adult audiences, the work contains some scenes of violence and moderate profanity and sexual references. As the subtitle suggests, the work is set during the pioneering time of the mid-nineteenth century when brave folk set out to carve their destinies via the harrowing journey of the Oregon Trail. We follow many lives as they intertwine, but most notably that of doctor Hannah Blanc and mountain man Nimrod Lee. As the pair struggles with their own demons, their union brings about yet more complexity and strife.
Author Fred Dickey has crafted a really interesting novel with plenty of historical flavor, setting out the harsh realities of this time period, but also its many rewards and triumphs for true hard work. It was clear to see that the author engaged in heavy research for the piece, as every page is packed with intricate historical details. This treatment also extends into the dialogue and atmosphere of the story, which felt authentically voiced and never too modernized, and yet it was penned in a style very accessible for modern audiences to grasp. This is in part due to the trailblazing Hannah, who is ahead of her time and makes an excellent central focal point for the tale. Overall, I would highly recommend Days of Hope, Miles of Misery: Love and Loss on the Oregon Trail as an accomplished work of historical fiction.