“Where go the years? Down what tunnel of time are poured the precious days?
We are young, and the fires within us burn bright. All the world lies before us and nothing is too great to be done, no challenge too awesome.
Then suddenly the days are no more, the years are gone, and the time that remains is little indeed.”
“To the Far Blue Mountains” is my new favorite Sackett book. I knew when I read “Sackett’s Land” that I was going to love the whole Sackett series, but now I’m wondering how I will enjoy any book more than this one.
Barnabas Sackett, who was introduced to us in the first book, follows his dream to settle in Raleigh’s land, and build a family. We find him in the beginning of the book settling his affairs at home. Making sure his family’s land will be cared for until a time that a son or grandson comes back to claim it. Setting in place a network of trustworthy men to handle the business of trade he will send their way. Tying up all loose ends so that he is free to pursue his dream in the new lands.
As always, Sackett is pursued by those who are motivated by greed and evil intentions. As a result of this pursuit, when he leaves England, it is with the knowledge that he will never be able to return to his homeland. This second book is filled with intrigue and adventure. Barnabas runs into his fair share, and sometimes more, of bad luck, yet he manages to finish on top. “It was true I had done well with my fishing in troubled water, but more by good fortune than by my own efforts, although I had not hesitated when it was time to act, and sometimes that is the whole face of it.” I love this statement about “good luck.” That sometimes it’s less about whether things are stacked for or against you, but how you deal with what you’ve been presented, and how quickly you respond.
His dealings with people, especially new people, are influenced by the teachings of his father, who taught him things like this,”Be friendly with all men and censure none, tell nobody too much of your affairs and remember in all dealings with men, or women, to keep one hand upon the doorlatch… in your mind, at least.” Thoughts like these help him to escape capture on more than one occasion. But, don’t think that means he is unable to make and keep close friends. No, he is from the fens, and describes the group thus, “We of the fens were a close-mouthed lot, not given to talking to strangers, but with a strong loyalty for one another.” It is loyalty that really shines out of these books most.
Through births and deaths, harsh battles and new allies, L’Amour kept me interested and wanting more with language such as this, “So my son was born on a buffalo robe in the heat of an Indian battle, under a tree by the side of a stream in a wild and lonely land, and he was given his name by a chance remark, a name he would carry forever. For we called him Kin, and thought of no other, and kin he was to all of us, to the meadow, the woodland, and the forest.”
I fear that to tell you everything I loved about this book, would mean to recap the whole thing. This would turn into a plagiarized novel instead of a book review. Therefore, you’ll simply have to read it for yourself. This one is not just a recommendation. It is a plea. Read it. I know you’ll love it.