Title: St Agnes' Stand
Authors: Eidson Thomas
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 201
Year: 1994
Language: English
Description: An injured outlaw - heading for freedom in California - stumbles across the trapped survivors of an apache ambush: three nuns and seven orphaned children. Sister St Agnes, a resourceful woman, is convinced that Nat Swanson is sent by God to rescue them. Set in the mid-19th century.

Comments from Groups:

This book was a huge hit with the group. Gripping reading, emotionally powerful. The scenes of apache violence were too much for some to read and they had to skim over those sections.The story had pace and while a dense read, was a relatively quick one. Auckland 285

At first sight it appeared to be a Western and we were not sure about it but it was a fascinating book and led to lots of discussion. Our Methodist minister thought St Agnes was brilliant. Ashburton 009

Surprisingly everyone liked this book...The descriptions of the land and characters were excellent. Some discussion on superstition and mysticism. Auckland 164

Despite the unappealing genre (ie. Western) most agreed this was the best read of the year. Auckland 191

Thomas Eidson generated heaps of discussion and continuing email discussion. Must be good! Wellington 079

Well written and very easy to read and become absorbed in the story. Discussion was lively. Christchurch 136

Well liked by all except one who could not get past the graphic brutality. Generated a lot of discussion. Tauranga 026

The characters were fully drawn and we loved the 'Western' element. Mangawhai 002

We all loved it...great moments of anticipation. Several parts had the heart pounding with anxiety for the characters. Riverton 001

Categories: Fiction, Historical, Short read, USA, What's Hot, Popular Book with Groups


[Please log in to write a review]
By: WHITBY 002 2019-10-12 13:39:20
This novel turned out to be a very pleasant surprise, totally unexpected. All liked it and enjoyed the characters and the evocative descriptions of the landscape. The torture and violence was unpleasant but was probably typical of the times. In spite of that it was a short, easy read with a tidy ending.

By: CHCH 299 2019-06-22 12:01:35
Most enjoyed this book and found it gripping. A well-structured, well-written book.

By: FEILD 005 2019-03-21 15:14:53
This was reviewed at our very first meeting. We all found it an easy read although some found the violence very vivid and parts of the storyline unbelievable.

By: CHCH 378 2018-12-10 11:51:10
The group was undecided about this book. Most had not read a western before and found the book fascinating while others thought it was too unbelievable.

By: WESTO 001 2018-08-20 14:50:28
All but one member found this book enjoyable. "An easy read that ripped along, nice to have a short story" None of us had read a Western before so it has opened up a new genre. The one member who didn't enjoy it found the violence hard to get past.

By: HAST 006 2018-02-28 14:57:04
A western for our book club of girls only! AND we all enjoyed it, and appreciated the subtleties of the novel. The scene where Nat laments the death of 'Dog' brought up plenty of connections within the group. Short but very satisfactory novel.

By: NELS 023 2018-02-28 14:42:25
Exactly half our group enjoyed this book and half did not. Everyone agreed that the descriptive writing of the landscape was excellent, but the violence and thin plot were the reasons for members not enjoying it.

By: WHAKA 015 2018-02-28 14:39:41
Loved the book! We all did. Unputdownable.

By: AUCK 255 2018-02-28 14:35:44
An unexpectedly good read. A bit gruesome in parts, but very compelling and enjoyed by all. Good discussion - would like to know more about these times from the Indian perspective.

By: WELL 123 2018-02-28 14:33:15
This book provoked a vigorous discussion. One thought it stereotyped and too violent. The majority disliked the violence but understood it went with the territory. The variations on your standard western tropes gave interest, and the simple prose was suitable.

By: NELS 022 2018-02-28 14:29:48
What a surprise! Almost without exception, when our group began this book, we decided it wasn't for us. Within a short space of time however, we were thoroughly drawn into the story and the development of the characters, in particular Nat's character. So much did we enjoy it, apart from one rating of 7, the remainder ranged from 9-9.5 to one of 10.

By: WANG 011 2018-02-28 14:25:55
All of us, except one, enjoyed the book. It followed a more or less predictable pattern, then became more and more implausible so that you had to suspend disbelief. It finished satisfyingly, although improbably. Such is the way with westerns. It was not only goodies vs. baddies but also Christianity vs. animism, that caused some of our members to consider it a bit racist, but as someone once said, " The past is another country; they do things differently there".

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