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Second Lives is Richard Wheeler's paean to hope and courage. This sweeping historical novel is set in Gilded Age Denver, a time when mining fortunes were won and lost, and people flocked to the bright city beside the Rockies to make their fortunes.
The novel follows the lives of several people whose lives have been ruined, and who are now struggling to find a worthwhile life amidst the wreckage. There's Lorenzo Carthage, called "Magnificent" by some, who has won and lost gold mines, and suddenly has come to the end of the road. There's Dixie Ball, a big woman who was once the queen of Telluride, and now is a chambermaid struggling to find a new life. There's Homer Peabody, Esquire, a failed lawyer barely earning a living, who sees little hope of happiness in the time he has left but wants to try. There's Cornelia Kimbrough, virtually the chattel of a cold, powerful, indifferent man who has oppressed and imprisoned her, a man she yearns to escape. And Yves Poulenc, tubercular poet, resigned to death only to discover he is doomed to live, and doesn't know how.
These and others struggle to create new lives. Most of them find the inner courage and resources to start over; one or two don't manage it, no matter how they struggle. There's opportunity, and hope, and excitement in early Denver, if only these struggling people can find their niche in life. This is their story, memorably and sensitively told.
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"Wheeler's meticulous re-creation of Denver and the people who came there in its raucous heyday is testimony to his reputation as 'a genius of structure and form.'" --El Paso Herald-Post
"In this tale of the gold rush and the Gilded Age, Wheeler delivers an entertaining lesson in how to mine happiness from the dross of disappointment and broken dreams." --Publishers WeeklyAbout the Author:
Richard S. Wheeler has been writing novels since the 1970s. His seventy-some novels include historicals, biographical novels, mysteries, and westerns. He is the recipient of six Spur Awards from Western Writers of America, more than any other living author. He has received the Owen Wister Award, given for lifetime achievement in the field of western literature.
He writes mysteries set in 1940s Milwaukee, under the pseudonym Axel Brand. He lives in Livingston, Montana, in the heart of the country he loves to write about.
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