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Flip, a California romance   By: (1836-1902)

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Flip, a California romance by Bret Harte is a charming tale set during the California Gold Rush. With its picturesque descriptions, memorable characters, and interplay of hope and disappointment, the book offers a unique perspective on the American West.

The story follows the adventures of Flip, a young woman who finds herself on a journey to California in search of her missing father. A fearless and independent spirit, Flip's personality shines throughout the narrative, as she navigates the challenges and dangers of the rough and tumble mining camps.

Harte's lyrical prose captures the beauty of the California landscape, painting vivid scenes of gold-riddled rivers, majestic redwoods, and bustling settlements. The author's attention to detail brings the setting to life, immersing readers in a time and place long past.

Perhaps the most striking feature of the novel is its cast of quirky and endearing characters. From the enigmatic gambler to the hardworking miners, each individual adds depth and richness to the story. Flip's encounters with these diverse personalities provide insight into human nature, as well as explore themes of friendship, love, and loyalty.

The novel also delves into the complexities of romance, as Flip finds herself caught in a love triangle with two suitors. Harte deftly navigates these relationships, weaving a web of emotions that keeps readers invested in the unfolding drama. The portrayal of love and desire is realistic and heartfelt, making it easy to empathize with Flip and her conflicting emotions.

However, while the book excels in characterization and atmosphere, its pacing can be sluggish at times. Certain passages, especially those focused on the historical context, may drag on for too long, slowing down the overall narrative. Nevertheless, Harte's skillful writing and engaging storytelling compensate for this occasional drawback.

Overall, Flip, a California romance is a delightful read that transports readers to a fascinating era in American history. With its evocative descriptions, engaging characters, and thoughtful exploration of love and human nature, the book offers a captivating experience from start to finish. Fans of historical fiction, romance, and the American West will find much to enjoy within its pages.

First Page:


By Bret Harte


Just where the track of the Los Gatos road streams on and upward like the sinuous trail of a fiery rocket until it is extinguished in the blue shadows of the Coast Range, there is an embayed terrace near the summit, hedged by dwarf firs. At every bend of the heat laden road the eye rested upon it wistfully; all along the flank of the mountain, which seemed to pant and quiver in the oven like air, through rising dust, the slow creaking of dragging wheels, the monotonous cry of tired springs, and the muffled beat of plunging hoofs, it held out a promise of sheltered coolness and green silences beyond. Sunburned and anxious faces yearned toward it from the dizzy, swaying tops of stagecoaches, from lagging teams far below, from the blinding white canvas covers of "mountain schooners," and from scorching saddles that seemed to weigh down the scrambling, sweating animals beneath. But it would seem that the hope was vain, the promise illusive. When the terrace was reached it appeared not only to have caught and gathered all the heat of the valley below, but to have evolved a fire of its own from some hidden crater like source unknown. Nevertheless, instead of prostrating and enervating man and beast, it was said to have induced the wildest exaltation... Continue reading book >>

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