14
Jul
09

Book Review: The Texicans

Author: Nina Vida

Published: October 2007

Publisher: Soho Press

Genre: Historical Fiction

ISBN-10: 156947477X

ISBN-13: 978-1569474778

10/10

It’s 1843, San Antonio, the Republic of Texas. Mexican-born Aurelia Ruiz finds that she may have the power to heal-as well as to curse. She definitely has the power to attract men. Willie Barnett, a young Texas ranger, becomes infatuated with her. Her father sells her to him but insists on a wedding. To the other rangers such a marriage is anathema. When Barnett is killed by Native Americans, pregnant Aurelia finds shelter in a Comanche camp.

Joseph Kimmel, a teacher in Independence, Missouri, and son of a Polish Jew, receives word of the death of his brother in San Antonio and sets off for Texas. On the way, his horse is stolen by a runaway slave. Rescued by Henry Castro, who is importing immigrants to populate his planned city, Joseph agrees to marry an Alsatian girl to save her from the Comanches, and they go forth to start their own ranch.

Then Joseph meets and is enthralled by Aurelia. When the Texas rangers hear of the Kimmel ranch, where runaway slaves and a Mexican woman live as equals with the owner and his wife, they lynch the black men and kidnap the women and children. To his wife’s consternation, Joseph cannot forget Aurelia.

Now MY take on it:

I’m not one for Historical Fiction because while I like history, sometimes it just bores me. But when I got the opportunity to review the book, I jumped at the chance because I wanted to see if it would allude my love for history. I started reading the first page and thought that it would be like any other historical fiction I’ve read and wouldn’t end up finishing. Then I read the second page, then the 2nd chapter, then the 10th chapter. Yes, I fell in love with it. I sympathized with many characters. They didn’t have much personality, except for Joesph, who seemed stubborn yet cautious. But with a book like that, they didn’t need personalities. What happened was more important, in my opinion, that what Aurelia thought of the prarie. Being a born-Texan, I could feel the history. When they mentioned certain areas of Texas, I knew exactly what they were talking about. I could see what was happening. It is like being taken back in time to that time when we didn’t have the big city skylines, but instead little villages where they didn’t have tiles for floors, but had dirt. You were afraid of the Indians because you knew what was going to happen. You were afraid of those who lynched those some didn’t deem “worthy to live in Texas”. Vida paints a vivid image of Texas that many of us Texas had forgotten. If you are a Texan, you have  a new love for your state. If you aren’t, you will still enjoy it because there is something new on every page and won’t leave you feeling like you’re lost. Texas has finally travelled through time to the past.

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2 Responses to “Book Review: The Texicans”


  1. 07/14/2009 at 10:21 AM

    This sounds like a great book! I am like you. Historical fiction isn’t a fave, but it depends on the author. There are those that just write an awesome story!

  2. 07/14/2009 at 3:39 PM

    Thank you for the careful read and wonderful review!

    Nina Vida


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