From Gunshot to Homestead


Christian - Fiction
172 Pages
Reviewed on 07/19/2013
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Trudi LoPreto for Readers' Favorite

Joann Ellen Sisco in From Gunshot to Homestead has written a story that takes the reader on a wagon trip from Tennessee to the new free lands of Oklahoma. The year is 1889 and we travel with Eben and his daughter Roberta. In Roberta’s charge is her brother’s (he has recently died) young daughter Alecia, whom she had promised to care for. Safety for the little girl has persuaded Eben to leave their home and claim a piece of land in Oklahoma. Roberta had loved Danny since she was a little girl but he left and though he promised to return for her, it has been over two years. The journey is long and there are many problems along the way: injured horses, flooding, and chicken pox, but father and daughter handle all of the life threatening situations and meet many good people along the way. Danny's circumstances became such that he is determined to find Roberta no matter how long it takes.

From Gunshot to Homestead made me feel as though as I was part of the journey. Joann Ellen Sisco's writing emotionally attached me to the characters and pulled me right into the story. I found myself reading every chance I could to cheer on Eben, Roberta and Danny. From Gunshot to Homestead is a winner and a must-read for all historical fiction, days of the early pioneers and settler’s genre fans. There was adventure, love and excitement throughout and it would make a great movie. Joann Ellen Sisco has just been added to my favorite author list and I will be looking out for her other books.

Maria Beltran

Book one of an eight book series, “From Gunshot to Homestead” tells the story of Roberta Carlile, who traveled West in a wagon, with her old father and a five-year old girl, without the slightest idea where the journey would take her. Knowing the man she loves has already gone, the safety of the little girl she promises to protect is what matters the most to her now. Will she survive the flight they take together?

An ambitious retelling of a unique period of history in Deep Fork River, Oklahoma Territory, this fictional story takes us back to a time when new land was deeded on the basis of a gunshot and a foot race or the Land Run on April 22, 1889. The author, Joann Ellen Sisco, creates an effective atmosphere of the struggles of the townspeople for a place they could call their own. The desperate night flight of the main characters is undeniably interesting to follow. The journey, alone, is very intriguing and Sisco never disappoints to provide us a meticulously detailed travel that you wish the Tennessee family survive – physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually – in spite of the various obstacles they encounter along the way. Retelling history through fiction is very challenging; it can either break or make your story. Sisco understands this danger and absolutely knows how to handle it. “From Gunshot to Homestead” is the best book on the Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889 to emerge so far. The narrative truly shines, making Sisco an accomplished historian and novelist at the same time.