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Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite
A Journey Along the Oregon Trail by Raymond Cook is a western frontier story. The narrative follows the plight of husband and wife pioneers, Frank and Lisa Mead, in 1898. After the death of Frank's father, the couple makes the difficult decision to sell their Missouri livery and farm to embark upon the dangerous trek out west. The journey is fraught with every imaginable disaster and brings to light the genuine hardships faced by wagon train families, and the overwhelming courage and determination of all who attempted it and the few who succeeded in taking up the government offering of land in exchange for years of sweat equity, misfortune, and grit by the original settlers of what is now a thriving western United States.
Raymond Cook offers a great deal of insight in A Journey Along the Oregon Trail through this fictional tale. Simply written and with an emphasis on Frank and Lisa Mead, this is a book that lovers of western frontier fiction will enjoy. Cook has clearly done an exhaustive amount of research and no detail is left without a thorough description. The tension is good throughout and the ancillary characters are also provided with enough development to carry the story along without detracting from its main protagonists, who are easy to root for from the moment they are introduced in chapter two. This is an enjoyable read and is both long enough to give the plot the time it deserves to unfold, and short enough for me to have finished my own family adventure down the California coast.