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Ramona (Signet Classics)

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This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

30 review for Ramona (Signet Classics)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    Go with me on this. It’s the year 2060. We have our flying cars, vat-grown replacement organs and Kim Kardashian’s Skanky Grannies reality TV – but you know what we don’t have? Anybody that remembers The Great Gatsby. Not the book, not the movies – nothing. That seems like an almost impossibility, right? Having finished Ramona, and then reading about the success of this novel and its almost complete obscurity in 2014, I’m not so sure. This is a romance novel, no doubt about it – my first foray int Go with me on this. It’s the year 2060. We have our flying cars, vat-grown replacement organs and Kim Kardashian’s Skanky Grannies reality TV – but you know what we don’t have? Anybody that remembers The Great Gatsby. Not the book, not the movies – nothing. That seems like an almost impossibility, right? Having finished Ramona, and then reading about the success of this novel and its almost complete obscurity in 2014, I’m not so sure. This is a romance novel, no doubt about it – my first foray into that genre. Helen Hunt Jackson’s book was pulled on my random selection of the 500 Great Books by Women, and despite that I can now say that romance novels aren’t my thing, I’m very glad I read it. Racial discrimination against Native Americans (first by Mexicans, and then by white Americans) is a theme played large against the backdrop of the love story that moves the action of the book – and it is what HHJ does with the oppression of the natives of Southern California that is the best part of the story. Written in 1884, Ramona has sold hundreds of thousands of copies and has never been out of print. It has been adapted into a film four times and an outdoor play based upon the novel has been in production since 1923. The book’s impact on southern California was significant – as the railroads into that area began to open in the early 1900s, fans of the novel traveled across the country to visit the land of Ramona. HHJ’s depiction of the mission-era SoCal environment is beautifully written; you can almost smell the sage and trail dust. Have you ever heard of this book? I hadn’t, nor had any of my well-read friends. It is an important work – I really hope people continue to read it and it doesn’t go the way of 2060 Gatsby. 3rd book read of 500 Great Books by Women

  2. 5 out of 5

    Tim

    As many of you know, one of my hobbies is to read books that were once popular but have now fallen into obscurity, trying to understand the past through what excited people at the time. Ramona, a book that has appeared in more than 300 editions since it was first published, was made into a movie four times, and inspired an entire tourist industry in the late 19th and early 20th century, is surely such a book. I've had a copy for years, one belonging to my father-in-law, and it's long been on my t As many of you know, one of my hobbies is to read books that were once popular but have now fallen into obscurity, trying to understand the past through what excited people at the time. Ramona, a book that has appeared in more than 300 editions since it was first published, was made into a movie four times, and inspired an entire tourist industry in the late 19th and early 20th century, is surely such a book. I've had a copy for years, one belonging to my father-in-law, and it's long been on my to-read list. It's quite a lovely book - a romance of the old west, and a strong indictment of the treatment of the American Indian (and to a lesser extent, the Mexicans) by the conquering Americans, who brought a long period of California history to a close. As I wrote in the book's description (see above), the book was written after the failure of Hunt's earlier non-fiction book, A Century of Dishonor to raise consciousness about the plight of the American Indian and their disgraceful treatment by the United States government. However, the charming romance (which turns darker as the story progresses) was what caught people's imagination. Still, it's an eye-opening look at how the conquering Americans treated the Indian and Mexican inhabitants of California. We like to think we're better than the ethnic cleansers of today's world, but our country was built on ethnic cleansing. For all its storybook romance and idealization of the Franciscan missions and the life on the Mexican ranchos, this book is a great reminder of our own history. P.S. People who enjoyed this book might also look for The Splendid Idle Forties by Gertrude Atherton, a collection of romantic stories about old California. Another, perhaps more realistic view of old California can be found in Two Years Before the Mast, by Richard Henry Dana. I love the descriptions in Dana's book of San Francisco in 1837 as a wooded peninsula populated by deer and bears, with a tiny fishing village and port, but it's also great to see him refer to this area as the northern part of Mexico, and to meditate on how the things we take for granted weren't always so, and won't always continue to be so.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    Helen Hunt Jackson wrote Ramona to draw people's attention to the injustice being done to the Indians living in California. She was friends with Harriet Beecher Stowe and hoped that her story would have the same impact on the nation that Uncle Tom's Cabin had in the 1850's. Boy was she wrong. Dead wrong. Instead of awakening the rest of America to the plight of the Indians of Southern California people received it as a romance novel. The nation was gripped with Ramona fever and California took n Helen Hunt Jackson wrote Ramona to draw people's attention to the injustice being done to the Indians living in California. She was friends with Harriet Beecher Stowe and hoped that her story would have the same impact on the nation that Uncle Tom's Cabin had in the 1850's. Boy was she wrong. Dead wrong. Instead of awakening the rest of America to the plight of the Indians of Southern California people received it as a romance novel. The nation was gripped with Ramona fever and California took note. Soon every small Los Angeles area town was naming streets Ramona and having Ramona pageants to draw tourists to the area. Draw tourists they did, and any hope Mrs. Jackson had of justice was trumped by the love of a quick buck. Reading this book was so interesting. There are long passages that are deeply anti-American. Most settlers are pictured as short-tempered, violent, and wholly unsympathetic people. The heros are the Indians and Mexicans. There are long conversations between the "half-breed" Ramona and her Indian lover Alessandro about the cruelty and soulless-ness of the Americans and the law-makers who support their claims to the Indians land. I am completely baffled at how it became a best-seller on the east-coast, yet it did and in a way I feel I am here in Pomona because of its long reaching impact.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Moonkiszt

    First published in 1884, and first read in 1885 by women in my family, there has always been a copy available to me. I've read this book many, many times, and it still hits my heart. Helen Hunt Jackson was one of the very first to point a big shaming finger at the White Man when it came to all indigenous cultures on the America continent. In this book she is specifically concerned with the native tribes and cultures already settled (Mexican mostly) throughout what would become the southwestern U First published in 1884, and first read in 1885 by women in my family, there has always been a copy available to me. I've read this book many, many times, and it still hits my heart. Helen Hunt Jackson was one of the very first to point a big shaming finger at the White Man when it came to all indigenous cultures on the America continent. In this book she is specifically concerned with the native tribes and cultures already settled (Mexican mostly) throughout what would become the southwestern US and upper Mexico. The beautiful valleys and mountains she described were based on her travels throughout that area, and using her notes the characters with which she peopled Ramona were burdened with the iniquities she observed on these trips and interviews. Her timeline is much earlier than her trip, where she saw ruins, elders and a few relics well-kept for history’s sake. The land was battle-scarred having changed hands from native tribes, to Mexican dons, and then westering pioneers. Jackson got a good whiff of the battles, and the sorry results. And, as a woman with the power of her own voice and pen, along with access to records, she did her research. Beyond this fictional book, she wrote a non-fictional one that was sent with all her information and data to the US government: Century of Dishonor. The sole purpose was to shame and motivate some kind of remediating and restorative action on the part of the government, both state and federal. Decades later I was born in this valley, a white daughter of immigrants from other states, who settled in the cities built among the ruins and relics well-kept. In fact, I was trotted out to those in field trips on a regular basis, and loved being there. A spirit all its own resides and watches over those places, haunted and wary. Yet, it always draws me in. I spent many summers in the little hot towns around Hemet, which is close by the pageant amphitheater where there is an annual celebration and re-enactment of Ramona’s story. The pageant does a great job of talking more about Helen’s efforts to get America motivated and concerned about the mistreatment of California’s indigenous people. Here’s a link: http://ramonabowl.com/just-love-story/ Quoting that website: “She called for changes in the government’s Indian policies and documented their past crimes in her 1881 book, “A Century of Dishonor”. The outlook seemed bleak. Jackson described in vivid detail the broken treaties, brutal murders and evictions the Indians had endured. Forced onto reservations, disease and death soon took their toll. America’s Indians were heading towards extinction. “I sometimes wonder that the Lord does not rain fire and brimstone on this land,” Jackson wrote to a friend, “to punish us for cruelty to these unfortunate Indians.” Jackson had hoped her book would lift the American people to the same sort of outrage she felt over the treatment of the Indians. When it did not, she decided to try to write a novel that would “move people’s hearts. People will read a novel when they will not read serious books,” she wrote.” During recent protests and plain speaking, many are moved to examine their own accountability as it relates to social conditioning and that which we were raised into, and then later adopt, evolve and develop as we live in our communities. We carry within our own personal “preferences”, standards and “beliefs” biases to which we may have been blind or have never recognized. Messages have been coming at us from all directions, for hundreds, thousands of years. I see this book by Helen Hunt Jackson as a demand for healing actions for the California tribes. She is waiting for those who have ears to hear, and as my mother always said, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” Sadly, by the time anyone listened to Helen, most all of those tribes had been decimated by territorial persecution, bigotry, disease, displacement, and a careful deconstruction of their culture by newcomers. 5 stars for the hope she had that someone would hear her. Still.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    Ramona is an American novel written by Helen Hunt Jackson in 1884. Who is Helen Hunt Jackson? Well, it's good you waited until now to ask, a few days ago I would have had no idea. Now I do. Helen Hunt Jackson was a writer who became an activist on behalf of Native Americans and how they were treated by the United States government. If they were treated anything like what she wrote in the novel, our government was horrible to these people. Way back when Jackson was a little girl she attended the Ramona is an American novel written by Helen Hunt Jackson in 1884. Who is Helen Hunt Jackson? Well, it's good you waited until now to ask, a few days ago I would have had no idea. Now I do. Helen Hunt Jackson was a writer who became an activist on behalf of Native Americans and how they were treated by the United States government. If they were treated anything like what she wrote in the novel, our government was horrible to these people. Way back when Jackson was a little girl she attended the Ipswich Female Seminary and the Abbott Institute, a boarding school in New York City run by Reverend John Stevens Cabot Abbott. I have no idea whether the Ipswich Female Seminary and the Abbott Institute are the same place or two different places and I didn't look them up yet. I also didn't look up the man who ran the place or places to see why his name is so long, what I did find out is that she was a classmate of Emily Dickinson, and the two wrote to each other for the rest of their lives. When she was 22 she married an Army Captain, Edward Bissell Hunt, they had two sons, one of them died though, and so did her husband, he was killed in an accident that occurred while he was experimenting with one of his own marine inventions. I wish I had more information than that on what he was doing. The second son also died of diphtheria two years later. She isn't having very much luck with her family members, her mother died when she was fourteen, and her father when she was seventeen. Now that she was all alone with nothing else to do I suppose she began to write poetry and she traveled in Europe writing. But, of course something else had to go wrong and she moved to Colorado Springs seeking a cure for tuberculosis, an awful lot of people seemed to have tuberculosis in the 1800s. Finally, something went right and she met and married William Sharpless Jackson, a wealthy banker and railroad executive. I find it interesting that she kept her first husband's last name, and added her second husband's last name behind that. I wonder what her husband thought. Then in 1879 she went to a lecture in Boston, I have no idea what she is doing in Boston, the lecture is by Chief Standing Bear, of the Ponca Tribe. He described the forcible removal of the Ponca from their Nebraska reservation and transfer to a reservation in Oklahoma where they suffered from disease, harsh climate, and poor supplies. I didn't know Oklahoma had harsh climate. She was so upset by what she heard she decided to take up their cause and started investigating and making known the government misconduct. She did all kinds of things, raising money for them, having heated exchanges with federal officials over the injustices committed, she exposed the government's violation of treaties, she documented corruption of agents, military officers, settlers, anyone who encroached on and stole the Indians land. And it seems like there were a lot of people who stole the Indians land, and that is what the book is about, that plus the story of Ramona and the man she falls in love with, Alessandro, and all those around the couple. In the story we are in Southern California right after the Mexican-American War, which apparently the Mexicans lost because there are an awful lot of "Americans" showing up. What are called Americans in this story I really hope isn't what all Americans were like back then. There were few of them who weren't horrible. Our heroine in the story is Ramona, her mother was Native American, I can't remember who her father was. She is raised by Señora Gonzaga Moreno, the sister of Ramona's deceased foster mother. Señora Moreno has raised Ramona as part of the family, giving her every luxury, but only because Ramona's foster mother had requested it as her dying wish. Our dear Señora can't stand Ramona, supposedly because of Ramona's mixed Native American heritage, I think she is just mean. That love is reserved for her only child, Felipe Moreno, whom she adores. She adores him so much it is creepy. Señora Moreno is Mexican of Spanish ancestry, although where they live in California has recently been taken over by the United States. She hates the Americans, everyone hates the Americans, after awhile I hate the Americans, who have cut up her huge ranch because that's what they do. I feel sorry for her and her son, Felipe, but I still don't like her. One day a group of Native American sheep shearers arrive at the ranch, she hires them every year, and the head of the shearers is Alessandro, the son of the chief of the tribe, I forget his name. I found it interesting that he was Catholic, I didn't think Native American Indians were Catholic, but some are. Of course just about everyone in the novel is, it is interesting how many things only get done, or don't get done until the priest is asked, or until a certain Saint is prayed to. There are Rosaries, and statues, and crosses all over the place, I learned a lot about the different Saints. Then Alessandro sees Ramona and falls in love with her, he tries not to let it show, being an Indian and poor, but it wouldn't be much of a love story if she never knew he loved her. She eventually falls in love with him, Felipe is also in love with Ramona, and Margarita also loves Alessandro, it doesn't matter who she is. So once Señora Moreno and Felipe find out that Ramona and Alessandro love each other, do you really think they will allow a girl raised by them like a daughter and sister (so they say), are going to let her marry an Indian? And if she does marry him, where will they live, the main thing going on in the book during all this is the Indians getting thrown off their land, entire villages, including the one that Alessandro is from are just thrown out and made to leave, to go who knows where, and no one cares. No American cares anyway, and if they don't go they just shoot them. So they move on and find another little village and build houses and plant crops and the Americans come and, well the same thing happens, over and over until the book is over and I don't know where the Indians ended up, but wherever it is, what happened to them wasn't right. And for me what happened to Ramona and Alessandro didn't matter at all. Remember all those black and white Westerns where the Indians rode around on horses killing everyone with their bows and arrows and tomahawks? I'll be thinking of Ramona and Alessandro and their village the next time I see one of them. Oh, here are some of the things I remember the most: It was the way in the Hyer family to make the best of things; they had always possessed this virtue to such an extent, that they suffered from it as from a vice. There was hardly to be found in all Southern Tennessee a more contented, shiftless, ill-bested family than theirs. But there was no grumbling. Whatever went wrong, whatever was lacking, it was "jest like aour luck", they said, and did nothing, or next to nothing, about it. Alessandro, I am almost afraid to tell you what I have done. I took the little Jesus out of the Madonna's arms and hit it! Did you never hear, that if you do that, the Madonna will grant you anything, to get him back again in her arms. Did you ever hear of it?" "Never!" exclaimed Alessandro, with horror in his tone. "Never, Mejella! How dared you?" "Oh, I have heard, many times, women tell the Senora they had done this, and always they got what they wanted. Never will she let the Jesus be out of her arms more than three weeks before she will grant any prayer one can make.' Felipe went to the Madonna's picture and falling on his knees, began to pray as simply as if he were alone. The Indians, standing on the doorway, also fell on their knees, and a low-whispered murmur was heard. For a moment Aunt Ri looked at the kneeling figures with contempt. "Oh, Lawd!" she thought, "the pore heathen, prayin' ter a picter!" Then a sudden revulsion seized her. "I allow I ain't gwine ter be the unly one out er the hull number thet don't seem to hev nothin' ter pray ter; I allow I'll jine in prayer, tew, but I shan't say mine ter no picter!" And Aunt Ri fell on her knees; and when a young Indian woman by her side slipped a rosary into her han, Aunt Ri did not repulse it, but hid it in the folds of her gown till the prayers were done. It was a moment and a lesson Aunt Ri never forgot." The novel was so popular it had more than 300 printings, and attracted many tourists to Southern California who wanted to see places from the book. I don't want to see the places in the book, it is too depressing. I'm not sure how many stars to give it, I didn't care what happened to Ramona and Alessandro, in fact they got on my nerves at times. I certainly didn't care about Señora Moreno and her son giving in to her for everything. I wouldn't read it again for any of them, and the Indian parts were so sad I wouldn't read it again for that, but even though when I was stuck in the Ramona/Alessandro/Felipe stuff at the ranch I almost quit reading, when it got to the Indian villages I couldn't put it down. I'll give it 3 stars, maybe 3.5. On to the next book, happy reading.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

    This wasn't at all what I expected! I'd always had a vague sense that Ramona was ridiculously rosy picture of "romantic Olde California" full of caballeros and things, but as it turns out it was intended as a propaganda novel about the rotten treatment of Californian Indians and Mexican landholders after the U.S. acquired California. Of course, everyone back East read it as the former, hence the Ramona pageant and an influx of Ramona tourism that accomplished the opposite of what Jackson hoped f This wasn't at all what I expected! I'd always had a vague sense that Ramona was ridiculously rosy picture of "romantic Olde California" full of caballeros and things, but as it turns out it was intended as a propaganda novel about the rotten treatment of Californian Indians and Mexican landholders after the U.S. acquired California. Of course, everyone back East read it as the former, hence the Ramona pageant and an influx of Ramona tourism that accomplished the opposite of what Jackson hoped for ... Ironically, the vaunted love story is probably the weakest part of the book! It's full of sharply realized observations of the California landscape -- I loved the descriptions of wild mustard and artichoke seedheads. All the minor characters are vividly drawn and psychologically believable: the various priests, the people who live on the rancho, Ramona's stepmother who spitefully ruins her life but is not actually evil. Even the Tennessee family who befriend our heroine are interesting and multi-dimensional, in spite of the ridiculously heavy dialect Jackson makes them speak in. The only flat characters in the thing are Ramona herself and to a lesser extent her true love Allessandro. Ramona is a paper saint, all wide-eyed and pious and loyal and true, and Allessandro starts, at least, as far much the Very Perfect Lover. Since we spend a lot of time with them, this is a fairly major flaw in the novel -- but it didn't spoil my enjoyment of the book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Austen to Zafón

    As three stars indicates, I liked this book. Actually, I wish I could give it 3.5. I'm glad I read it, but I don't think I could do it again as it was so sad. I can't believe I'd never heard of it before, especially since I was a born and raised until I was 12 in San Diego. I guess in grade school, they don't begin yet to touch on the injustices done to the Native Americans and even to the Mexicans. We were still just learning what a mission was and some Spanish words. But I was in SD this sprin As three stars indicates, I liked this book. Actually, I wish I could give it 3.5. I'm glad I read it, but I don't think I could do it again as it was so sad. I can't believe I'd never heard of it before, especially since I was a born and raised until I was 12 in San Diego. I guess in grade school, they don't begin yet to touch on the injustices done to the Native Americans and even to the Mexicans. We were still just learning what a mission was and some Spanish words. But I was in SD this spring and took time to go by myself to the San Diego History Museum in Balboa Park, and there, on a placard, I read a bit about the dreadful history of the Native Americans in Southern California along with mention of this "famous" book that fictionalized it. I didn't actually expect the Seattle library to have it, but they did. It's a very long book and I admit to skimming the last 100 pages or so because it was just so damned depressing and I could see what was coming. But the first 300 was a pleasure. Now I've read a number of reviews that call the book propaganda or boringly stilted and I take exception to the grumbling. Of *course* it's propaganda. Helen Hunt Jackson gave the best years of her life trying to convince the American gov't to ease up on the Indians (esp. with her book, A Century of Dishonor)and finally, in desperation, she wrote Ramona as a way to "move people's hearts." She had hoped that Romona would be the Uncle Tom's Cabin of California natives. Sadly, her wildly popular novel, although printed in 300 editions, adapted for 4 films, and turned into a play that has run every year in CA since 1923, was taken as more of a lady's romance than a political statement. Addressing the other common complaint, of *course* it's stilted. It was written in 1884! Did people honestly expect a breezy, modern style? Given the intent, the period, and the writer, I think the book is wonderful and I would give it more stars if it hadn't been so depressing for me personally. As an historical document, I think it's still important to read. It's out of copyright, so it's available for free online. I will say that Jackson's book helped change the way people viewed the Native Americans of S. CA and it created an emormous influx of tourist dollars into the area when the railroad finally went there. Everyone wanted to see where "Ramona" lived, married, & died. She was sort of the Harry Potter of the turn of the century. Now if only the letters between Jackson and her friend Emily Dickenson still survived, that would be real reading! They were born 2 months apart in Amherst, went to school togther, and wrote letters to one another all their lives.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    There's a backstory here! While reading Passing Strange, I found a reference to Ramona (the novel shares the theme of interracial love). I couldn't help but be curious when I saw the author's name. Helen Hunt Jackson was my grandmother's maiden name. As she was born in 1889, not too long after Ramona became a popular sensation, I thought it impossible that her newspaper-publishing father (Andrew Jackson, my great-grandfather) could not have known about Jackson when he named his eldest daughter. There's a backstory here! While reading Passing Strange, I found a reference to Ramona (the novel shares the theme of interracial love). I couldn't help but be curious when I saw the author's name. Helen Hunt Jackson was my grandmother's maiden name. As she was born in 1889, not too long after Ramona became a popular sensation, I thought it impossible that her newspaper-publishing father (Andrew Jackson, my great-grandfather) could not have known about Jackson when he named his eldest daughter. I asked my mother about it, and was amazed to be confirmed in my guess that her mother was indeed named after the famous author and staunch advocate of Native American rights. What I was even more fascinated to learn was that HHJ the author was actually a friend of Andrew's. (Apparently there's no family relation between Andrew and the Jackson who was HHJ's second husband). The family used to spend summers in Colorado, where HHJ made her home later in life. The missing piece of the puzzle, how a small town Iowa publisher and banker developed a friendship with a woman who must have been viewed as somewhat of a rabble-rouser, fell into place when I learned that my greatgrandfather's town was on a Native American reservation (Tama). I do find it remarkable that he felt strongly enough to make his child her namesake. I'm looking forward to more of HHJ's writings, nonfiction this time, that are filling up my already loaded To Read shelf.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Brooke

    I had a hard time with this book. The political issues overpowered character development and plot which made the whole book slow and a little boring.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Krista the Krazy Kataloguer

    What a great book! I'm so glad I chose it for my book discussion group. Written in 1884, this historical novel, set in southern California in the early part of the 19th century, is a doomed love story as well as propaganda about the terrible treatment of the Native Americans by the Americans who moved in after the Mexican War. Land granted to both Native Americans and Mexicans by the Mexican government were declared no longer valid, and the new American government sold off peoples' lands without What a great book! I'm so glad I chose it for my book discussion group. Written in 1884, this historical novel, set in southern California in the early part of the 19th century, is a doomed love story as well as propaganda about the terrible treatment of the Native Americans by the Americans who moved in after the Mexican War. Land granted to both Native Americans and Mexicans by the Mexican government were declared no longer valid, and the new American government sold off peoples' lands without telling them. One day they had a house, fields, and pastures, and the next day they were homeless, and usually without monetary compensation. The novel begins with a vivid description of the ranch of Senora Moreno and her son, Felipe. The immediate impression the reader gets is of a way of life on its way out, just like the plantations before the Civil War. Ramona is half Scottish and half Indian, which was not a good thing then. She's given to Senora Moreno's sister to raise, but when the sister dies, Ramona is sent to live with nasty Senora Moreno, who raises her out of duty, not out of love. There Ramona lives until she falls in love with the Indian Alessandro Assis, who has come to assist in the sheep shearing on the ranch. From here on it the novel feels like a soap opera/Romeo-and-Juliet story. The reader is compelled to keep reading to find out what will happen to these two. Along the way, Jackson, in a not-so-subtle manner, shows the reader how the Native Americans are treated. Jackson intended the novel to open readers' eyes to the plight of the Native Americans in California. The book was popular, but not so much for its propaganda as for its sentimental drama. It was subsequently made into 4 silent films and one talkie, as well as, recently, a Mexican TV serial. I think readers today would enjoy this novel for both of its aspects. Certainly one cannot help but feel as enraged and despondent as Alessandro at the treatment of his people. The Signet Classics edition of the book includes an afterword that tells us that Jackson actually visited the places mentioned in the book, and based the story on a real-life couple. She nagged the Department of the Interior with letters until they appointed her to be the first female Commissioner of Indian Affairs, which gave her some power to help the Indians. The novel is, therefore, a true historical novel in that she based almost everything on real places, people, and events that she mostly witnessed with her own eyes. I can't recommend this book highly enough. I enjoyed it immensely, and would like to see more readers young and old delve into its pages. Highly recommended!!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    I first heard about Ramona from an old friend (94) who loved the story and wanted me to read it. I should have done so, but I was swamped with work projects. When she passed away, I inherited her books, and this title moved to my shelves. One day I read the first few pages, but it reminded me of a Zane Grey book that I had just plowed through. I promptly gave up and donated the book (an ex-library book). Well, I recently came across this old book and decided to give it another try. It's not "just I first heard about Ramona from an old friend (94) who loved the story and wanted me to read it. I should have done so, but I was swamped with work projects. When she passed away, I inherited her books, and this title moved to my shelves. One day I read the first few pages, but it reminded me of a Zane Grey book that I had just plowed through. I promptly gave up and donated the book (an ex-library book). Well, I recently came across this old book and decided to give it another try. It's not "just a romance," which is how Rosemary had described it to me. Yes, there is a story of 'true love,' but it's much more than that. • It's a character study that focuses on 4 people, with others included when needed. The 'near saint' is Ramona, and the totally 'evil' is a minor character. • It's a history of California, including the Catholic missions. • It's a look at prejudices, a Mexican rancher, the displaced (and noble) native Indians, and the greedy, uncaring American whites. The focus however, is on the unjust treatment of the native peoples. Now I'd like to read her nonfiction book that was published in 1881: A Century of Dishonor: A Sketch of the United States Government’s Dealings with some of the Indian Tribes Ramona begins: It was sheep-shearing time in Southern California, but sheep-shearing was late at the Señora Moreno's. This quote, from page 54, captures the spirit of the story: When the first glow of dawn came in the sky, the eastern window was lit up as by fire. Father Salvierderra was always on watch for it, having usually been at prayer for hours. As the first ray reached the window, he would throw the casement wide open, and standing there with bared head, strike up the melody of the sunrise hymn sung in all devout Mexican families. It was a beautiful custom, not yet wholly abandoned. ...

  12. 5 out of 5

    Elevetha

    1.5 stars. Yikes. (view spoiler)[You'll note that one of my shelves for this book is "somehow the movie was better". That's because, roughly 100 pages into this boring peasant festival, I watched the 1936 movie with Loretta Young (who is shockingly NOT half-Indian) playing Ramona and some Italian chap(who is incredibly not Indian) in a terrible wig playing Alessandro. The romance/love story is hyped up and the conflict between the Indians and the whites is almost nonexistent so, obviously, there' 1.5 stars. Yikes. (view spoiler)[You'll note that one of my shelves for this book is "somehow the movie was better". That's because, roughly 100 pages into this boring peasant festival, I watched the 1936 movie with Loretta Young (who is shockingly NOT half-Indian) playing Ramona and some Italian chap(who is incredibly not Indian) in a terrible wig playing Alessandro. The romance/love story is hyped up and the conflict between the Indians and the whites is almost nonexistent so, obviously, there's a love quadrangle. See, Margarita, who yearns for Alessandro, hates Ramona, who is totes in love with Alessandro. Ramona is loved so much by her sorta-adopted brother, Felipe, (who in no way wants to be her brother) that he is willing to let her marry Alessandro, who was instantly struck by Ramona's beauty and is deeply in love with her. Presided over this is a bitchy matron lady who is Ramona's father's former fiancee's sister and no one is good enough for her son, Felipe. Sounds like a drama filled mess, right? Well, it was actually pretty good. It was in technicolor and evvverything. But this is not a space for reviewing the movie, much as I'd actually rather do just that... So the book. It's supposed to be an epic love story/tale of true love tested. Well, if by that you mean "horrifyingly lengthy love triangle fraught with tragic circumstances, angst, and depression that is as dull as the Amazon River is long", then BOOM, you're right on point. There's one scene where Ramona is actually dying due to her not being able to be in Alessandro's presence because he is gone for a week. Then one night, Ramona awakes and knows, just knows that Alessandro is near. So she hops out of bed, sprightly as you please, and wanders around the estate until she finds him. Is it just me, or does that sound highly ridiculous? But really, I think the shining highlight of this whole gem is the last 100 pages. Let me elaborate. Ramona and Alessandro's land is stolen from them by the American Government, who sold it off to some white people. Their baby dies. Depression sinks in. They have another baby. Alessandro is shot and killed. Ramona is incapacitated by grief and is practically at death's door. Felipe shows up and, after an (maybe) appropriate amount of time, professes his undying love for Ramona, who agrees to marry him only because he's been so helpful and she does love him, but SHE LOVES HIM LIKE A BROTHER. They have a bunch of kids, Felipe is blissfully happy, Ramona appears to never be truly happy again, and Ramona 2.0 is the prettiest and bestest and most specialest of all the kids, because her dad was Alessandro. Ugh. I'll admit that the writing of the book, barring any and all dialogue, is really quite decent, but I could not, in any way, get into the story. This book was supposed to bring the people to a better understanding of the plight of the Native Americans, and it was supposed to accomplish this through the characters, but I found it to be so much more an depressing lengthy love story than anything else. But it doesn't even matter what was the point, because I didn't care for any of it. (hide spoiler)] ( WHOOOOOOOOOOOOO 1000th REVIEW!!!!!!!!!!!!)

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ramona

    I was named for this romance novel that was made into a movie a long time ago. It is a great story of the hardships of the Indians and Mexicans during the time that California was transitioning from mission districts under Mexican rule and admittance into the United states. A great love story but a bit tragic.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Linda Martin

    Ramona was born to a Native American woman in Southern California. Her father was from Scotland. He took the infant girl from her mother and gave her to his ex-girlfriend, a Californio (Hispanic) woman of considerable wealth. Unfortunately that woman died and her husband didn't want the child, so she was passed on to Señora Moreno, a widowed woman with a large estate and a son. The Moreno ranch needed sheep shearers and that is how a tribe of Native Americans came to live there temporarily, for Ramona was born to a Native American woman in Southern California. Her father was from Scotland. He took the infant girl from her mother and gave her to his ex-girlfriend, a Californio (Hispanic) woman of considerable wealth. Unfortunately that woman died and her husband didn't want the child, so she was passed on to Señora Moreno, a widowed woman with a large estate and a son. The Moreno ranch needed sheep shearers and that is how a tribe of Native Americans came to live there temporarily, for work. And that is how Ramona met Alessandro, a talented violinist who had been raised at a Franciscan mission in Santa Barbara. The protagonist of this novel is intensely Catholic. This book starts out slow with one chapter devoted only to describing the Moreno estate. I had a hard time getting emotionally involved with the characters enough to keep reading it consistently. This also becomes almost ridiculously melodramatic at times. The Señora Moreno devolves from a devoted Catholic woman into a prideful and malevolent control-freak. Finally - at about chapter 20 out of 26, I became emotionally involved and cared enough about the characters to want to keep reading the book without putting it down. I'm glad I stuck with it. The ending of the book is both tragic and blessed. The author did what she set out to do - to profile in fiction the injustices done to Native Americans by the Americans when they took over the state of California from the Californios in the mid-19th century. I read this book via Kindle. My local in-person book club chose it as a group read. We live in a town with a lot of Native Americans so reading about their issues is important to us.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Ramona started out well and pulled me in; it looked like it was going to win at least four stars, if not five. I was impressed with the characters, the beautiful descriptions of California, and the sweet love story that was developing. I feel like the story started to go downhill from the middle. As Ramona goes through one hardship after another you wonder if it will ever stop and it doesn't. Also in the interest of playing up the plight of the American Indians in the late 18th century, Helen Hu Ramona started out well and pulled me in; it looked like it was going to win at least four stars, if not five. I was impressed with the characters, the beautiful descriptions of California, and the sweet love story that was developing. I feel like the story started to go downhill from the middle. As Ramona goes through one hardship after another you wonder if it will ever stop and it doesn't. Also in the interest of playing up the plight of the American Indians in the late 18th century, Helen Hunt seems to describe Americans with a heavy hand. The story starts to loose its realism as she seems to get more and more focused on the moral of the story. She describes almost all Americans as mean, greedy, callous, unintelligent, and cruel. Indians are portrayed as loyal, loving, hard-working, and almost as though they can do no wrong. She even puts some inconsistencies into her story - at one point the Indians insist that "Indians never steal." Almost a few pages over the main Indian character, Alessandro, is considering stealing a madonna statue from a nearby, broken down church (he does end up stealing it). The story really seems to fall apart because Helen Hunt Jackson became so zealous in her effort to sway hearts for her cause. I think she went a little overboard; if she had injected a little more realism and made the enemy a little more believable, she would have had an amazing piece. I did feel that the ending did have some redeeming qualities. After seeing the Ramona play which ends in despair, it was comforting to read the softly beautiful way that Jackson ends the story.-

  16. 4 out of 5

    Paul Gaya Ochieng Simeon Juma

    There are books we read because they are difficult to understand. This is what happened to this book. When we finish we feel relieved because we didn't give up. Case in point, Ramona. The books may be so boring, like this one here, yet we still fight on. Ramona, is a novel about love. The couple are indians living in America. Ramona and Alessandro. They meet in Ramona's foster home where she lives with Senora Monero, Felipe, Margaritta, Marda, Juan Can, and other servants. She is happy with ever There are books we read because they are difficult to understand. This is what happened to this book. When we finish we feel relieved because we didn't give up. Case in point, Ramona. The books may be so boring, like this one here, yet we still fight on. Ramona, is a novel about love. The couple are indians living in America. Ramona and Alessandro. They meet in Ramona's foster home where she lives with Senora Monero, Felipe, Margaritta, Marda, Juan Can, and other servants. She is happy with everyone else but her foster mother who she thinks hates her. Alessandro first sees her when he leads a group of expert sheep shearing Indians who are given the work of shearing there sheep. He ends up taking care of Felipe who is down with sickness. His unconventional healing methods ends up saving and restoring Felipes health. However, his love for Ramona tears the family apart. Senora Moreno is not happy and is against the marriage. They end up eloping. Tragedy also strikes Alessandro's home where the Americans invade and possess there properties. They end up loosing there house and properties. The whites also kill his fellow countrymen. Without acknowledging there ownership rights, they kick them out believing them to be worth nothing more than servants. Its a brutal injustice that touches to the core of there survival. With nothing else but love, they follow there own path in search of a better life. They end up getting married in difficult conditions. The discrimination, injustice, loss, and dispossession all arising from the white mans greed for wealth are the themes of this book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Katie Wahlquist

    What can I say? I just re-read this book for my book club and I think I loved it even more this time around. I am totally in love with Alessandro!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kkraemer

    This is a wonderful 19th century romance about a young woman who marries against the wishes of her step-mother, wanders through the mountains and valleys with her husband, and is, at long last, reunited with a life that might offer some semblance of comfort and joy. Her husband was wonderful; however, he was an "Indian" in Southern California, where such people were both respected and held in contempt...often by the same people. The book takes place after the Americans have invaded California and This is a wonderful 19th century romance about a young woman who marries against the wishes of her step-mother, wanders through the mountains and valleys with her husband, and is, at long last, reunited with a life that might offer some semblance of comfort and joy. Her husband was wonderful; however, he was an "Indian" in Southern California, where such people were both respected and held in contempt...often by the same people. The book takes place after the Americans have invaded California and, contrary to the treaties signed by the American and Mexican government, deeds on land are no longer valid and Americans buy the land and clear it of the "Indians" who have lived there for generations. It is a hard life. Helen Hunt Jackson is one of the 19th Century writers who took on social issues, inspired in part by the effect of Uncle Tom's Cabin. Though she is from New England, her descriptions of the Mexican rancho system, of the ways that the "Indians" lived, the variations amongst the Americans, and the glorious beauty of the area inland from San Diego show that she based her plea for better treatment of the Native Americans on real knowledge of how life changed when Washington took over California. The language of this book is utterly delightful -- 19th century vocabulary and syntax-- and, as you read the book, you will be able to see the scenes and hear the music of the movies that have been made, and you will want to go to Hemet, where a "PassionPlay" format of the story is presented each summer in the "Ramona Bowl." A wonderful -- if somewhat arcane -- read about a situation never dealt with in our history. The American treatment of the Native Americans was -- and is -- despicable.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Ramona By: Helen Hunt Jackson With a bit of tragedy, history and love, it tried to make this book interesting; but it was not . The story of Ramona is set in Spanish California and the beginning of American California. Ramona is caught up in the tangle of races found in Southern California - Mexican, Spanish, Indian and American, and for me, this book failed to draw me a picture. It's an old fashioned love story, a bit slow in parts, but with a noble and pure hero and heroine. Indian Alessandro an Ramona By: Helen Hunt Jackson With a bit of tragedy, history and love, it tried to make this book interesting; but it was not . The story of Ramona is set in Spanish California and the beginning of American California. Ramona is caught up in the tangle of races found in Southern California - Mexican, Spanish, Indian and American, and for me, this book failed to draw me a picture. It's an old fashioned love story, a bit slow in parts, but with a noble and pure hero and heroine. Indian Alessandro and part-Indian Ramona flee prejudice and intolerance and try to survive the disagreements of many of her family members. This book also talks about segregation between the rich and the poor, and that the poor should not be with the rich, nor should the rich be associated with the poor. This made Ramona fight for her love even more. I did not really like this book and would not recommend it to people that want to read something just for fun. This book also made me disinterested towards the end because it leaned more towards love than it did when the book started; which is with action.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Karye

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I read this as a teenager, and now for the second time as an adult. I vaguely remember seeing the Ramona Pageant in Hemet, it was a favorite story of my Grandmother's who is part Lakota Sioux, and in thinking back, would have been familiar with the mixed relationships and tensions they can bring. What I noticed most as a teen reader was the love story between Ramona and Alessandro. Forbidden love, like Romeo and Juliet. And the evil stepmother, Senora Moreno's treatment of Ramona, similar to Cin I read this as a teenager, and now for the second time as an adult. I vaguely remember seeing the Ramona Pageant in Hemet, it was a favorite story of my Grandmother's who is part Lakota Sioux, and in thinking back, would have been familiar with the mixed relationships and tensions they can bring. What I noticed most as a teen reader was the love story between Ramona and Alessandro. Forbidden love, like Romeo and Juliet. And the evil stepmother, Senora Moreno's treatment of Ramona, similar to Cindrella. The story seemed to be connected to fair tales and classic stories. As an adult, the book took on more meaning, the ending for example. It's a mixed ending, Alessandro dies, but Ramona survives and is rescued by Felipe. Living a whole other life happily as his wife with many children. They move to Mexico to where the Morena family originates. I'm not sure what the author is saying, because they had to leave California in order to live happily ever after. The treatment of the California Indians seemed far worse in reading this from an adult perspective.

  21. 4 out of 5

    StrangeBedfellows

    I was assigned to read this for my American Lit class. The class is structured around the topic of the Wild West, and Westerns apparently developed as a response to something called domestic fiction. What is domestic fiction, you might ask. Well, imagine a bunch of self-righteous middle class women seeking to reform society through tales of disadvantaged young heroines who triumph over adversity through virtue, piety, and kindness. Are you nauseous yet? Now add some saccharine-sweet sentimentali I was assigned to read this for my American Lit class. The class is structured around the topic of the Wild West, and Westerns apparently developed as a response to something called domestic fiction. What is domestic fiction, you might ask. Well, imagine a bunch of self-righteous middle class women seeking to reform society through tales of disadvantaged young heroines who triumph over adversity through virtue, piety, and kindness. Are you nauseous yet? Now add some saccharine-sweet sentimentality, intended to manipulate your interpretation of the book through an abundance of emotion, and you have domestic fiction. Ready to heave now? Because you're sure to be heaving after trudging your way through Ramona, hopefully my last foray into domestic fiction. I understand now, more than ever, why Virginia Woolf felt it necessary to kill off the Angel in the House. What's the story about? Do you really care? Run away, far away. Go read something violent.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Colleen

    This is a heartbreaking and yet uplifting tale of a young woman named Ramona. Through life's ups and downs Ramona experiences despair, love, passion, freedom, frustration and loss. It is truly a masterpiece. Although my heart was crushed into tiny slobbery bits, this book still left me happy. Maybe it was the epic tale, the brilliant writing, the beautiful descriptions. Or perhaps it was Ramona herself. She is one of those unforgettable characters who will stay with you always. Like Jane Eyre or This is a heartbreaking and yet uplifting tale of a young woman named Ramona. Through life's ups and downs Ramona experiences despair, love, passion, freedom, frustration and loss. It is truly a masterpiece. Although my heart was crushed into tiny slobbery bits, this book still left me happy. Maybe it was the epic tale, the brilliant writing, the beautiful descriptions. Or perhaps it was Ramona herself. She is one of those unforgettable characters who will stay with you always. Like Jane Eyre or Scarlett O'Hara it is Ramona's strength which endears her to so many. Yet, she has a vulnerability to her that makes her so believable. I read this book many years ago and yet Ramona's fascinating journey stays within my heart, always.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Paty

    I loved it. A beautiful but tragic romance between two lovers (one a half-breed, the other a Native American) during the time American settlers took over California displacing the Native Americans, Mexicans, and Spanish landowners who had been living there. Helen Hunt Jackson really paints a vivid picture of what life was like during those times in California and the horrors of being cast of one's land using cruel and injustice tactics. I can understand why Alessandro withers away from the man he I loved it. A beautiful but tragic romance between two lovers (one a half-breed, the other a Native American) during the time American settlers took over California displacing the Native Americans, Mexicans, and Spanish landowners who had been living there. Helen Hunt Jackson really paints a vivid picture of what life was like during those times in California and the horrors of being cast of one's land using cruel and injustice tactics. I can understand why Alessandro withers away from the man he once was.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Alicia

    This book is on a fascinating range of lists - the first California love story, the book that gave Southern California an identity, the "Anne of Green Gables" of So. Cal., one of the most popular books ever written (and then forgotten), the official state play of California, etc. It's interesting. Definitely not a work of art, but as a historical time capsule and literary work, worth reading. This book is on a fascinating range of lists - the first California love story, the book that gave Southern California an identity, the "Anne of Green Gables" of So. Cal., one of the most popular books ever written (and then forgotten), the official state play of California, etc. It's interesting. Definitely not a work of art, but as a historical time capsule and literary work, worth reading.

  25. 5 out of 5

    EBirdy

    Some of the dialogue seems very stereotypical, and I can see why the message about the plight of the Indians in California might have been lost on some, but much of Hunt's story retains it's original power, and it reads easily 130 years later. Some of the dialogue seems very stereotypical, and I can see why the message about the plight of the Indians in California might have been lost on some, but much of Hunt's story retains it's original power, and it reads easily 130 years later.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Grad school penance. Was supposed to read it back then. Long read, longer than its page count, but worth it. Especially if you've spent any time down around Santa Barbara and Ventura. Grad school penance. Was supposed to read it back then. Long read, longer than its page count, but worth it. Especially if you've spent any time down around Santa Barbara and Ventura.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Virginia

    I first read this as a California schoolgirl. I’m very glad that I reread this as an adult. The story had remained with me, but I now better appreciate the late-Victorian era style of writing itself. It’s a flowery discursive style, with insights into the human psyche and condition. Villains, victims, and heroes are clearly defined by speech and actions. Think of Dickens, and you’ll get my meaning. Helen Jackson (raised a Unitarian) had been an activist against the brutal treatment of Indians by I first read this as a California schoolgirl. I’m very glad that I reread this as an adult. The story had remained with me, but I now better appreciate the late-Victorian era style of writing itself. It’s a flowery discursive style, with insights into the human psyche and condition. Villains, victims, and heroes are clearly defined by speech and actions. Think of Dickens, and you’ll get my meaning. Helen Jackson (raised a Unitarian) had been an activist against the brutal treatment of Indians by the American government and settlers. Her book, The Century of Dishonor, didn’t generate as much interest and activism as her friend Helen Beecher Stowe‘s book, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, did. But writing her own novel, Ramona, did catch the public’s attention. The romantic element of the book appealed to readers, and tourists and the curious flocked to Southern California to see the sites mentioned in the book. The treatment of the native population by first the Mexicans, then the Americans (as well as the treatment of Mexicans by the Americans), I’m afraid, took a backseat to the romance. But for me, what the Native Americans endured is right up there, behind the steering wheel, driving this story of a half-breed Indian girl who was raised as a Mexican but chose to follow her Indian husband into exile and poverty. The treatment of Indians by the Missions is sugar-coated, regrettably; the ‘benevolent’ despots of the Church got a pass here. This book should be treated as a classic. It’s actually never been out of print since it was first published in 1884. I found my copy in a secondhand bookstore outside of Kennebunket in Maine; the book was quite popular on the East Coast. It was put out in 1893, and there’s an inscription dated 12/25/1893 on the fly leaf.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Dree

    I have wanted to read this book for a long time, simply because it had so much influence on how Americans saw California. The descriptions of the climate, geography, and people of Southern California do make the place and people very distinctive. Jackson's take on how Americans treated California Indians, Mexicans, and Catholics was very progressive at the time. Now it feels painfully dated. Another character that feels dated (and forced) is the character of Aunt Ri, from Tennessee, with her dial I have wanted to read this book for a long time, simply because it had so much influence on how Americans saw California. The descriptions of the climate, geography, and people of Southern California do make the place and people very distinctive. Jackson's take on how Americans treated California Indians, Mexicans, and Catholics was very progressive at the time. Now it feels painfully dated. Another character that feels dated (and forced) is the character of Aunt Ri, from Tennessee, with her dialect and open mind, is used to show how even an American from the South might have an open mind if given the chance. At the time, it was considered equivalent to Uncle Tom's Cabin (which I have not read). Some have claimed it influenced the creation of the Dawes Act (1887) which addressed Indian land rights in the US. Jackson was, per the source cited Wikipedia article (Women's History: Biographies 1997) upset that readers were more interested in the romantic Californio vision than the plight of California Indians. Despite the issues readers today have with this book, it did very much influence American perceptions of California, and created additional interest in California right as the railroads were coming in to the state. It did influence American thoughts on Californios, and California and other North American Indians. It has never been out of print.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sarah R

    To my modern mind, RAMONA is what happens when a wealthy white liberal lady of leisure suddenly decides to take up a pet cause and does so after only half-finishing her research. I don't doubt Jackson's feelings were sincere, and she did have an ample platform from which she could signal boost the sufferings of Native Americans, so for doing that she does deserve a lot of credit. But the book she wrote to highlight the plight of those pushed aside by Manifest Destiny is full of unrealistically pe To my modern mind, RAMONA is what happens when a wealthy white liberal lady of leisure suddenly decides to take up a pet cause and does so after only half-finishing her research. I don't doubt Jackson's feelings were sincere, and she did have an ample platform from which she could signal boost the sufferings of Native Americans, so for doing that she does deserve a lot of credit. But the book she wrote to highlight the plight of those pushed aside by Manifest Destiny is full of unrealistically perfect characters, who are all singular among their race: Alessandro is the "honestest" Indian you've ever met, the most goodhearted of all the Indians in California (really); and Ramona is such a paragon of virtue she seems little distinguished from the Catholic icons of the Virgin Mary that she's constantly praying to, or thinking about praying to. The language is elevated, flowery, purple, and very melodramatic, as you might expect from a Victorian novel. The one true highlight is the descriptions of Southern California: the sea off Monterey, the high peak of San Jacinto, the vegetation growing on the Moreno estate, the lush valleys where Alessandro and Ramona try to homestead, the hidden remote village of Saboba. The descriptions alone are almost worth the price of admission. California must have been breathtakingly beautiful in the early 19th century. Read RAMONA to see what all the fuss was about; read it to see what helped trigger the Dawes Act and other legislation that finally started trying to help Indians (even though a lot of it had to be undone in the 1920s); read it for a glimpse of early, unspoiled California; but don't read it for a realistic story and characters.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Julia

    Excellent story of Old California - the struggles of the Indians against the Mexicans and the "Americans" as the Indians are forced out of their villages and ways of life by the incursion of those who seek to profit from the land. The book was written in the 1880s; the author's writing style reflects the times and was interesting to read. I picked this book up at the recommendation of my daughter after we hiked around Helen Hunt Falls outside Colorado Springs. Excellent story of Old California - the struggles of the Indians against the Mexicans and the "Americans" as the Indians are forced out of their villages and ways of life by the incursion of those who seek to profit from the land. The book was written in the 1880s; the author's writing style reflects the times and was interesting to read. I picked this book up at the recommendation of my daughter after we hiked around Helen Hunt Falls outside Colorado Springs.

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