Say what you will Victor Banis knows the old West and writes about it with passion and thoroughness. This time around we need Terry Murphy who finds a way to survive in the near un-survivable West. First and foremost let's understand where poor Terry will learn real lessons about life. No parents are going to teach him. No teachers or school are going to teach him and he has no friends. He can't even learn things on the streets, poor thing. Terry survives by sheer luck because there was nobody to guide him. His brother was a self-serving opportunistic waste of space. Without giving anything away Terry does find a way to rebuild himself into Lola Valdez. Our 21st-century rules of right and wrong don't really exist or had a place in the old West. Frontier men and frontier women had to do whatever it took to survive, totally understandable, ugly as it was.
In the beginning of this book you're worry. You try to get Terry through his every day threats. You're hoping, you're crossing your fingers, you want this kid to survive and in the end you know this kid is going to survive. You know that he learns and gets stronger from every mistake along the way.