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Cattle Kate copertina

Cattle Kate

Di: Jana Bommersbach
Letto da: Laura Hicks
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Sintesi dell'editore

Cattle Kate is the only woman ever lynched as a cattle rustler. History called it "range-land justice" when she was strung up in Wyoming Territory on July 20, 1889, tarring her as a dirty thief and a filthy whore.

But history was wrong. It was all a lie.

Her real name was Ella Watson. She wasn't a rustler. She wasn't a whore. And she'd never been called Cattle Kate until she was dead and they needed an excuse. She was really a 29-year-old immigrant homesteader, lynched along with her husband by her rich and powerful cattle-baron neighbors, who wanted her land and its precious water rights. Some people knew the truth from the start. Their voices were drowned out by the all-powerful Wyoming Stock Growers Association. And those who dared speak out - including the eyewitnesses to the hangings - either disappeared or mysteriously died. There was no one left to testify against the vigilantes when the case eventually came to trial. Her six killers walked away scot-free. But the legend was stronger than the truth. For over a century, newspapers, magazines, books, and movies spread her ugly legacy.

Now, on the 125th anniversary of her murder, the real Ella comes alive in Cattle Kate to tell her heartbreaking story. Jana Bommersbach's debut novel bares a legend central to the western experience.

©2014 Jana Bommersbach (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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  • Generale
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    5 out of 5 stars
Immagine del profilo di Josh M. Peck
  • Josh M. Peck
  • 15/09/2023

I am the great grandson of John DeCory. Heartbreaking Dive into the Historical Injustices of the Wild West

Jana Bommersbach takes her readers on a stirring journey back to the rugged terrains of the late 19th-century Wyoming through her evocative debut novel, "Cattle Kate". She resuscitates the tarnished legacy of Ella Watson, painting a portrait that is not only more accurate but also profoundly humane.

Content: The novel throws you deep into a gross miscarriage of justice where the roar of greed and power silences truth and fairness. Through meticulous research and deft narration, Bommersbach uncovers the raw and authentic tale of Ella Watson, a woman who had her identity rewritten by history. The reader is taken through Ella's life, her struggles and the untimely, brutal end that came to be known as the story of "Cattle Kate". In doing so, Bommersbach not only corrects a historical wrong but also presents a scathing critique of the unchecked power wielded by the Wyoming Stock Growers Association during that era.

Narration: The narrative shines in presenting the events from Ella's perspective, which adds a deeply personal touch to the unfolding tragedy. Readers are allowed inside Ella's mind, giving space to connect with her hopes, dreams, and the injustices she faced. Bommersbach seamlessly merges facts with a fictionalized narrative to present a well-rounded view of Ella - a woman far removed from the notorious image that was falsely projected onto her.

Personal Reflection: As the great-grandson of John DeCory, reading "Cattle Kate" feels akin to witnessing a rectification of a long-standing injustice. The rich content and well-crafted narrative not only reflect the harrowing experience of Ella but also echo the sentiments of many others who witnessed the terrible act. This personal connection might instill in readers a greater appreciation for the advocacy for truth and justice, which is a central theme in the book.

In conclusion, "Cattle Kate" stands as a beacon of truth in the vast sea of distorted historical narratives. Jana Bommersbach crafts a compelling story that is not only a fight against the erasure of a woman's true legacy but also a poignant reflection on the cruelties of the time. A well-written, heart-wrenching novel that demands a place in the annals of significant historical fiction, shining a light on the need to constantly question and rectify the stories that history often mistakenly etches in stone.

  • Generale
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    5 out of 5 stars
Immagine del profilo di Ryan Hoobler
  • Ryan Hoobler
  • 09/06/2018


I have lived in Wyoming for the last 15 years. I really enjoy reading about local history. This is an amazing story and timeline describing what actually happened. I look forward to visiting the marker that is by pathfinder reservoir.