by Gerald LaSalle
Isthmus is Gerald LaSalle’s second historical novel that is a must read. It is a continuation of the plight of the Evers family from his first book, Widow Walk (which I also reviewed and gave five stars). Emmy Evers is taking her family back home to Boston. The plan is to travel from the Pacific Northwest to Panama so they can take the Panama Railroad across the Isthmus. Their fellow travelers include Italian revolutionaries, miners and greedy businessmen. There is also valuable cargo on the train in the form of slaves, Chinese workers and gold. Not long after their trip begins, the train is robbed. Some of the passengers are injured, killed, left to fend for themselves or they run into the jungle. With the help of local and U.S. soldiers, Emmy Evers survives bandits, hostile aborigines, creatures of the jungle and the isthmus itself.
While enjoying this book, you will certainly be learning about the geography and history of the Isthmus of Panama in 1860. Mr. LaSalle also brings other events into the story such as slavery, the Gold Rush, the American Civil War and the Italian revolution.
If you want to read a book with a great plot, fascinating real and fictional characters and a vibrant location, get a copy of Isthmus by Gerald LaSalle.