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Retro Review – Ride the River by Louis L’Amour


Welcome to another Retro Review. This one is a little different as you will see in my opening paragraph. I hope you enjoy it :).

Publisher: Bantam
Publish Date: Out Now
How I got this book: Purchased

Ride the River new cover In Ride the River Louis L’Amour spins the tale of a young woman who has to protect her family fortune from a murderous thief — and teaches him what it means to be a Sackett….



Sixteen-year-old Echo Sackett had never been far from her Tennessee home — until she made the long trek to Philadelphia to collect an inheritance. Echo could take care of herself as well as any Sackett man, but James White, a sharp city lawyer, figured that cheating the money from the young country girl would be like taking candy from a baby. 

If he couldn’t hoodwink Echo out of the cash, he’d just steal it from her outright. And if she put up a fight? There were plenty of accidents that could happen to a country girl on her first trip to the big city….
This blurb came from a website about the author here.

Several years ago I was in a discussion, I think it was with my mom, and she raised an interesting point. She said that in just about any genre you can find a romance or at least someone motivated to do things because of a member of the opposite sex. That got me to thinking and I realized that she was right. Some of you may have seen me mention that I have also been known to read Westerns. In this case I am not referring to romances set out in the west, I do read those too, but actual westerns by people like Zane Grey, J. T. Edson, and Louis L’Amour. As I was making my mostly cross-country moving trip I saw free range cattle, exits and landmarks familiar to me only from books, and historical markers my mind leaped to the works of Louis L’Amour – in particular his Sackett family series because they stretched from Mexico and the far west to the east and across the ocean to the United Kingdom. One of his Sackett stories is about a young lady named Echo who as you can see in the blurb above takes a little trip to retrieve something. On her way back things get a little exciting and she also encounters a young man…

This is one of my favorite Louis L’Amour books because I love the heroine. She is spunky and used to doing whatever it took to support her family. Growing up in the mostly unsettled wilderness of the Tennessee Mountains that included hunting for food, tracking and how to use a knife or whatever was handy to defend herself. Despite the fact that she was treated as one of the guys she did want to get settled eventually but it couldn’t be with any of the guys she grew up around and could out hunt/fish/track. When word reached them of an inheritance that had to be claimed in person with proof of lineage she was the only one available to make the trip. Echo was able to deal with the obstacles placed in her way of claiming the inheritance by the slimy lawyer but she still faced the return journey as a hunted woman. I laughed each time Echo thought about her uncle’s advice when it came to charming men and how she wasn’t able to prevent her normal personality and habits from coming through. She just had to use common sense and not wait for a rescue but instead create her own opportunities.

An old family friend found out about Echo’s situation and rounded up his nephew a Dorian Chantry, who was enjoying his life as a gentleman of leisure to help Echo reach her home safely. He wasn’t accustomed to rough living or to women who would rather cut across country then stay on a comfortable stage or riverboat. Watching him find a sense of purpose and live up to his family name was wonderful to see. Dorian went from thinking he was wasting his time and having his manhood insulted to feeling like he was a hero to a girl who didn’t need rescuing. One of the things I loved about him was that despite his confusion over Echo and her personality is that over time his attitude went from patronizing to that of a full partner who would play to his strengths and support hers.

The slow growing attraction and trust between Echo and Dorian came as they were dealing with some rather nasty people who were chasing them. Watching them grow to trust each other and then subtly feel something more was really sweet and didn’t distract from the overall adventure. In fact I wondered if Dorian would have been able to settle back into his life of superficiality had he gone back to Pittsburgh. As I was writing this review I actually wondered for the first time if Dorian’s uncle had something more then just helping Echo and her family in mind…Ride the River old cover

Although Ride the River is not the first Sackett book it reads well as a stand alone novel. I will say that because the overall genre of this book is Western you won’t get anything more then a hug when it comes to physical intimacy. I do hope you decide to give this a try and possibly stretch your reading genres. It is one of those that I have worn through several paperback copies.

I give Ride the River an A
Links to purchase:

Amazon | Kindle

By E_booklover

E is addicted to books. She discovered at an early age that not only were they her transport to far off worlds, adventures, and exotic cultures, but that she ran into far fewer objects if she walked while reading then if she wasn't reading. She reads across several genres, such as: romance, western,mystery, SF/F and its derivatives. She isn't too picky except for good characterization, settings she can imagine, and a story that flows logically... umm so ok -- she wants a good story. Have any to recommend?

8 replies on “Retro Review – Ride the River by Louis L’Amour”

Thanks for the lovely review. I immediately went to my shelf of Louis L’Amour books and pulled it out for a re-read. My personal favorite is a non-Sackett–“Silver Canyon”, but all I’ve loved all the Sackett books and their tie-ins. Ah, happy sigh.
I will also confess to having read a goodly chunk of Zane Grey, Luke Short and Max Brand westerns. Great stuff and there’s usually a romance in there somewhere. What’s not to like?

@Barb in Maryland: You are very welcome. I actually have to admit that I like all of his works except for his Cassidy ones. I am slowly getting my collection in digital format as well. I never really read Luke Short or Max Brand, think I need to take a look at them. Enjoy your re-read 😀

Barb! Silver Canyon, I love that book.

E_ I’m a huge fan of westerns, Louis L’Amour in particular. They’re comfort reads for me that I go to again and again. I haven’t read Ride the River in years though. I agree, definitely time for a reread!

Great review!

Great review thank you! I loved reading Louis L’Amour books when I was young, there were only 20 of them translated into Dutch and each new found was treasured and read over and over. I especially loved the one with a lot of Sackets coming to the rescue of one of them whose wife was murdered by a rich rancher.

@Heller: They are certainly comfort reads for me too. I find it fascinating when I go somewhere that he has mentioned. It was pretty easy since I grew up in Southern California :). Enjoy your re-read!

@aurian: Poor Tell Sackett that was just horrible but I loved the family coming out to help as well. It is a bummer that they weren’t all translated for you. Hopefully you have been able to find them since then.

If anyone out there has sons and have heard “but I don’t like to read” immediately buy some Louis L’Amour books! I’m fortunate because both my sons (as well as my husband” are avid readers in fact both my sons were reading by the time they were 3 or 4 but many of my son’s friends didn’t realize that they loved to read until my sons lent them the “right” books!

Their first “step” in getting their non-reader friends were the “Make Your Own Adventure” books when they were in grade school. At the end of a chapter each “reader” could choose the next chapter to read – instead of being told what to read by someone else! They could even read the same book multiple times and always read a different story.

Louis L’Amour books followed a few years later and we actually had to set up our own “lending library” or our book case would have been empty!

Needless to say Mom and Dad had to read all of them as well – it led to some very interesting discussions around the dining room table!

Such a great story. I don’t remember if I found Louis L’Amour on my parents’ bookshelves or my uncle’s. One of the things I enjoy about them is that they have stood up to time and continue to captivate people year after year.

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