Call Of The Canyon is a western set in the 1920s.
Glenn Kilbourne returned from WW1 to America, a broken man both physically and emotionally. His determination to return home to his fiancé, New York socialite Carley Burch, gave him strength during the darker times of war. Yet he found that the country he had fought for did little for its returning soldiers, and the life he lived before the war no longer appealed to him.
Glenn set out for the West; he needed time to heal. He went to Oak Creek, Arizona where he almost died from the long-term effects of the war. But, slowly, the peace and care of the Hutter family helped him recover. For four years Glenn stayed away; although he wrote to Carley, she began to suspect she was losing him, so she headed west to fetch him back. But she too discovered the magic and beauty of the Arizona land.
I read about this book in another one called Trusting The Currents. It intrigued me and when I found a free copy I downloaded it immediately. Parts of Arizona, particularly around Sedona, are said to be filled with strong cosmic forces conducive to healing and spiritual experiences. The author’s story of Glenn and Carley highlighted the effect the land can have on people. The tantalising descriptions of the vast ancient landscape, including mountains, canyons, gullies, desserts, and old volcanoes, definitely called to me.
Written and set almost one hundred years ago, the storyline may be seen as simplistic, the terminology occasionally harsh to modern ears, but that’s the delight in reading a book like this. I was also pleased that I felt akin to Addie Mae from Trusting The Currents, now that I’ve read a book which inspired her to travel and follow in Glenn and Carley’s footsteps.
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“What subtle strange message had come to her out of the West? Carley Burch laid the letter in her lap and gazed dreamily through the window. It was a day typical of early April in New York, rather cold and gray, with steely sunlight. Spring breathed in the air, but the women passing along Fifty-seventh Street wore furs and wraps. She heard the distant clatter of an L train and then the hum of a motor car. A hurdy-gurdy jarred into the interval of quiet.” – Zane Grey, “The Call of the Canyon”
Zane Grey (1872-1939) was an American author best known for his popular adventure novels and stories that were a basis for the Western genre in literature and the arts. With his veracity and emotional intensity, he connected with millions of readers worldwide, during peacetime and war, and inspired many Western writers who followed him. Grey was a major force in shaping the myths of the Old West; his books and stories were adapted into other media, such as film and TV productions. He was the author of more than 90 books, some published posthumously and/or based on serials originally published in magazines.