Her Smile, Sept. 14, 2021
A Victorian Family Christmas Anthology, “A Father for Christmas.”
I am most happy to announce the publication on September 14 of Her Smile. The story, told from the distance of 27 years, is the remembrance of Elizabeth Ann Everett. On her insistence, she cajoles her wealthy family from Omaha, Nebraska, to visit Yellowstone Park, established in 1872.
They visit in the summer of 1877, the worst possible time to be there. It’s the summer when the Nez Perce nation is fleeing from the U.S. Army. Their flight takes them through Yellowstone Park, where they run into tourists, among them, the Everetts, who are true urban greenhorns. Elizabeth Ann happens to be sitting on Methuselah, a bag-of-bones, one-foot-in-the-grave nag who, in his fright, decides to ride along with the Nez Perce. Off she goes.
You won’t be disappointed if you go along for the ride, too.
Review Spotlight - Her Smile
The first lesson Elizabeth Ann Everett learns when she arrives in Yellowstone National Park with her family is that you can’t believe everything you read in a book. For example, the “wild Indians” dime-novels authors often cast as villains are nothing like the Nez Perce Elizabeth encounters when she is accidentally swept up by a scouting party fleeing from the U.S. cavalry. While not everyone in the tribal community is happy about Elizabeth’s presence, Kaya does his best to help her adapt to her new and, she hopes, temporary surroundings. In her latest impeccably researched book, RITA and Spur Award–winning Kelly brilliantly captures both the beauty and brutality of life in the American West in the late nineteenth century while also thoughtfully and skillfully illuminating the terrible dilemmas and tragedies confronting Native Americans who simply want the U.S. government to honor its promises. Effectively told from Elizabeth’s outsider's point of view and infused with a deliciously keen sense of humor, this is Kelly at her storytelling best.
— John Charles