Author: Rose Render (forward by A B Guthrie, Jr)
Age/Audience: Teens with an interest in the wild west, adults
Genre/Style: Travel narrative
Read If You Like: Authentic, sassy, Victorian travel narratives, stories about the American West
Mrs. Rose Render’s hyperbolic narrative of her travels through the 19th century is unlike a traditional nonfiction: the line is much more blurry. Though technically a nonfiction book this reads like a narrative thanks to the reflective nature of the writing and the added structural elements. Carrying with her a large collection of luggage, her husband, and her aristocratic English attitude Mrs. Render offers a unique perspective on the West. Her story describes all the details you would hope to find in historic nonfiction – descriptions of the New York style of train luggage porting, interactions between the social classes, and a colorful explanation of the cattle ranching process circa 1883. This little (130 pages) book offers a lot to different readers. You get to enjoy the insight of authentic Victorian travel stories, but you also get Mrs. Render’s hyperbolic, extravagant point of view.
Nonfiction for those that don’t like reading nonfiction. This is the kind of book to shake someone out of a reading rut: a mix of styles, a unique voice, and quick enough to read in a day or two.