Western author Charlie Steel doesn't write about the pedantic, the ordinary, or the mundane. In STRONG WOMEN OF THE WEST (Anthology), this master storyteller captures the spirit of powerful women of all ages, from a five-year-old to an aging spinster, from a pregnant ranch woman to an aging widow, from a rich society girl to a tough teenager, from an abandoned child to a rifle-toting female...and many others. These thirteen exciting stories, far from the trivial and commonplace, embrace an extraordinary group of women living in the West in the 1800s.
Think 'Western' and the typical (male) cowboy comes to mind, operating in the milieu of frontier towns/justice and challenges involving Indians and lawlessness.
If women are thought of at all, it's in their role in the pioneer kitchen, keeping the family together and doing chores.
Charlie Steel's Strong Women of the West (Anthology) offers short stories that operate from a different premise: that Western women can be authoritative, feisty, take-charge businesswomen who are both independent and purposeful in their own right.
These short stories are anything but predictable.
As the stories evolve to embrace young and older women alike, from toddlers growing up in the West to full-grown spinsters who decide to aim for a relationship later in life than most—they embrace the extent of male and female cooperation on the frontier.
From a pregnant woman's partnership with her husband to confrontations with Indians, to accepting love and running a business for survival, these stories show courage and purpose. This is a diverse, lively collection that will help readers reexamine the usual image of a frontier Western woman and her life.
Western readers who look for strong female representations will find many of these stories excel in presenting women who come into their strengths in different ways, and will relish this fictional focus on frontier women's lives.
-D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
From beginning to end, these thirteen tales of STRONG WOMEN OF THE WEST will entertain and enthrall readers of all ages. Charlie Steel is a wonderful storyteller and never disappoints!
-Cheryl Pierson, Award-winning Author of RIDE THE WILD RANGE.
Master storyteller Charlie Steele takes us back in time to the daily perils and harsh realities of the Old West. This time, though, he unveils the cruel prejudices and restrictions endured by frontier women and girls every hour of their lives, cradle to grave. In blunt, often arch 1800s vernacular, the ever-colorful characters illustrate the zeitgeist of that time and place: the constant struggle and loneliness of the wild frontier, eased only by female friendships, family, and community when circumstances permitted. These remarkable women and girls prevail over all manner of hazards, suffering, and oppression through their own steely courage, cunning, and sheer grit.
Each story is also part teaching tale - of wilderness survival, hunting, and homestead care from canning to childbirth, making them valuable additions to classroom libraries and American history reading lists.