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Calico Palace

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Misfit
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Calico Palace

Post by Misfit » Mon December 29th, 2008, 12:52 am

I've just reread this one for the third time and loved it just as much -- highly recommended for anyone who is looking for tales set in old California and the Gold Country.

I actually owned this book in the 70's (and loved it). I have no idea why I gave it away, as now I had to buy another used copy. Hope I didn't buy my own back again! Calico Palace is Kendra Logan's story, who with her mother and step father came to San Francisco right before the start of the gold rush. Kendra was an unwanted child, and she soon finds the man of her dreams, marries him and they are off to the gold country. Among the group they are travelling with are Marny, the proverbial good girl gone bad, who is going to the gold camps to set up a saloon/gambling hall with her partner. All goes well at first, until a secret about Ted's past shatter's Kendra's happiness. Marny and Kendra return to San Francisco and Kendra works to rebuild her life, as Marny works on building a new Calico Palace instead of the tent she had at the gold camp.

The author does a wonderful job of bringing both San Francisco and the gold country to life. I loved the touch she put in about the first steamer to arrive with real gold seekers from the east coast, and the harrowing tale of the first group to cross the isthmus. The story takes you through the muck and mud, torrential rains, fires, thievery and everything else that came about as a result of instant wealth that the gold brought. The characters were wonderful, especially Pocket (loved Pocket's pockets).

All in all a pretty perfect read, and I'm sorry the story had to come to an end. Highly recommended for any lover of historical fiction or tales of the gold country. As a side note, for any who are interested in the gold country and it's history, I highly recommend taking the time to visit it. So many of the original towns are still there, with much of the original buildings. Up and down Highway 49, it's one adorable gold rush town after another. 5/5 stars, out of print but worth trying to track down at a reasonable price.
Last edited by Misfit on Mon December 29th, 2008, 12:57 am, edited 2 times in total.

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diamondlil
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Post by diamondlil » Mon December 29th, 2008, 2:20 am

Misfit, who is the author on this one. It sounds pretty good.
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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Mon December 29th, 2008, 4:16 am

I own Calico Palace and love it. The author is Gwen Bristow -- I've read two others of hers, Celia Garth (revolutionary war) and Jubilee Trail. They were in the top 10 list back in the '40s, and every one of them is a good read. If she has any others out, I'd read them, too.

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Mon December 29th, 2008, 11:10 am

[quote=""diamondlil""]Misfit, who is the author on this one. It sounds pretty good.[/quote]

:confused: :confused: Oops, I guess I forgot something. MLE is right it is Gwen Bristow and she's quite good. I've read quite a few of her books but this one is tops in my list.

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Mon December 29th, 2008, 11:19 am

[quote=""MLE""]I own Calico Palace and love it. The author is Gwen Bristow -- I've read two others of hers, Celia Garth (revolutionary war) and Jubilee Trail. They were in the top 10 list back in the '40s, and every one of them is a good read. If she has any others out, I'd read them, too.[/quote]

I second the rec's on Celia Garth and Jubilee Trail. She's got a series called The Plantation Trilogy (look at that price :eek: :eek: :eek :) the first two are on settling Louisiana and building a great plantation and the second deals with the Civil War. I think the third continues the story of the two families through WWI but I've not yet hunted it down. Very expensive used, but I got the first two through the library.

Here's a list of her books I did on Amazon.

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Mon December 29th, 2008, 2:01 pm

Thanks, Misfit. I just scaned that list -- I've read Handsome Road and Tomorrow is Forever, too, although apparently they were not quite so memorable!
The latter was a bittersweet interrupted romance, as I recall, spanning the two world wars. I would guess that Handsome Road was the beginning of the plantation trilogy. And I think I've read the end of that trilogy two, I seem to remember something about cotton being used in the production of napalm during WW!.
In all fairness to my failing brain, it has been about 40 years.

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Ariadne
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Post by Ariadne » Mon December 29th, 2008, 9:44 pm

I wonder if Calico Palace will be reissued soon, like Celia Garth and Jubilee Trail were. Hope so.

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Mon December 29th, 2008, 9:50 pm

[quote=""MLE""]Thanks, Misfit. I just scaned that list -- I've read Handsome Road and Tomorrow is Forever, too, although apparently they were not quite so memorable!
The latter was a bittersweet interrupted romance, as I recall, spanning the two world wars. I would guess that Handsome Road was the beginning of the plantation trilogy. And I think I've read the end of that trilogy two, I seem to remember something about cotton being used in the production of napalm during WW!.
In all fairness to my failing brain, it has been about 40 years.[/quote]

40 years? Should feel like yesterday. Deep Summer was the first, The Handsome Road the second and that one dealt with the Civil War. That was good, it showed the effects of the war on the upper class plantation family (I forget which family was which) and the poorer class as well.

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Mon December 29th, 2008, 9:51 pm

[quote=""Ariadne""]I wonder if Calico Palace will be reissued soon, like Celia Garth and Jubilee Trail were. Hope so.[/quote]

That would be nice, readers are missing out on a very very good book. Bristow's books are very good for YA readers any sex there might be takes place behind closed doors.

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Tue December 30th, 2008, 12:45 am

Abe has a few at a reasonable price, and I see there's a couple of Australian sellers for DL. A very cool website to explore the Gold Country here. I've gone through there several times and just love the scenery, the wineries and the history.

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