A Sporting Life

Fiction - Short Story/Novela
83 Pages
Reviewed on 05/29/2021
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Author Biography

Robert E. Kearns is the author of novels, Lost and Found, A Donnybrook Affair, Ossuary, Embers, Hy Brasil: Island of Eternity, Crabb, Carnivore and Freedom is For the Few.
He has also penned the story and poem collections, Words of a Feather and The Book of Mostly Gibberish (With Some Good Stuff Too)
Robert's stories have received critical acclaim and multiple Five Star awards from Readers Favorite.
He lives and writes in Dublin.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Michelle Stanley for Readers' Favorite

A Sporting Life by Robert E. Kearns is a touching short story about a young couple, Sarah and Thomas Woodford, who joined The Oregon Trail hoping to make a better life in the unfamiliar Midwest. The long, arduous journey took its toll on Thomas and he died. Grieving, Sarah is left to fend for herself against the harsh wilderness and conniving men but is determined to survive. A man she hired to assist her on the journey stole her possessions, abandoning her in the town of Parish. Destitute, Sarah befriended a blacksmith who tried to help her find a job. But the townsfolk were not friendly to the young and beautiful widow. Sarah swallowed her pride and took a job in the saloon as a bar girl, hoping to make enough money to return to her family. But good morals don’t belong in a saloon as Sarah soon found out.

I’ve often read about The Oregon Trail and know that it was a very dangerous and traumatic journey with many illnesses and deaths. The part I didn’t reflect on at all was brought to my attention by Robert E. Kearns. Although A Sporting Life is fictional, Sarah’s dilemma was realistic and the author thoroughly expounded on how her unfortunate predicament could have happened to some women who were on the frontier Oregon Trail. They probably had to resort to prostitution to survive when their plans went awry. Sarah is a remarkable woman with a good nature who weathered the battles well. I enjoyed reading this novella.