Monday, January 11, 2010

Sabine Crossing - A Story of Early Texas

Review of Sabine Crossing by Jacquelyn Thompson
Review by K. K. Searle

I have to admit I was surprised by this book. I enjoyed it very much! Sabine Crossing is excellent Texas historical fiction. Jacquelyn Thompson obviously knows her Texas history as well as her own family history.
Thompson took real family history and made a book out of it and though this is normally the recipe for REALLY bad fiction, Thompson pulls off a HUGE upset! It is really difficult to believe this is her first novel.
The book follows the Bradley family of Kentucky to Austin's Colony in Texas in the early 1820's. The book is told from the perspective of the family matriarch, Elizabeth Bradley and later from the point of view of her daughter, Letty Bradley.
In the early pages of the book, you will think there are just too many characters to keep track of. But, this, as you will see, is just Jacquelyn Thompson sneaking up on you for the "emotional" kill, or rather kills, later on.
Her characters are extremely well developed and really come to life. A big part of this is due to Thompson's dialogue for each of her characters which is some of the best I have seen in while.
Gentlemen, be warned, Sabine Crossing is to novels what a chick flick is to movies. The book is definitely designed to appeal to a female target audience. Very strong women standing up to the incredible hardships in colonial Texas and beyond. This book really tugs at the heart strings and yes, I will admit it, Jacquelyn Thompson's story did bring a tear to my eye on several different occasions and that has not happened in a long long time. And as a guy, that is as much as I am going to admit.
Too often good books are too short and you wish there was more. That is not the situation here. Sabine Crossing, at 667 pages, pulls you in and just keeps on entertaining for a nice long while. My only disappointment in the book was that Letty did not get to kill Warren. And if you want to know what that is all about, you will just have to read the book!
Sabine Crossing - A Story of Early Texas is available at

1 comment:

Wayne Spivey said...

Jackie Thompson has the ability to make you see what she sees.

You mentioned the characters are all well developed and come to life, but also each scene is so meticulously and vividly developed, it is as if I was there watching the action unfold.

The scene when the Bradley family is approaching Natchez, and their encounter with the slave traders, became a video clip, which kept playing over and over in my mind's eye. In another "nail biting" scene, I wanted to tell Letty, "Here take my gun and kill that worthless piece of trash, Warren."

I believe when people read Jackie Thompson's book, it will be a phenomenon, similar to other well known writers when they are first read. People will ask, "Who is this woman, and why have I not heard of her?"

What you have done, Mr. Seale, with your most praiseworthy, and well deserved review of Jackie Thompson's, Sabine Crossing, is to highlight a gifted author, and make it possible for this fine novel to be read by many more people than would have otherwise.

Wayne Spivey, Major, USAF Retired
Huntsville, Texas