My husband enjoyed this book. He'd forgotten how good Zane Grey western stories were.
I came to Zane Gray rather late, but have managed to read a handful of the supposed classics. That Zane Grey, Inc ( his descendants) has allowed the republication from the author's original notes of so many of his books over the past decade or so has allowed us to get to know the full depth of Grey's vision. These are not trite western melodramas but insightful examinations of the internal workings of the minds of his characters.
In Cabin Gulch the heroine, Joan Randle, must confront her own maturation into a woman and the growth of her first love while enduring circumstances that would test the humanity of the most stolid of us. Her would be lover, Jim Cleve, must confront his own battle between turning bad and the good that comes from loving Joan. Even Kells, the third in this love triangle and a truly evil man, suffers pangs of goodness as a result of his love for Joan. In the end he must choose between his own life and a life worse than death for Joan. And all of this is set in an authentic feeling mid nineteenth century gold rush Idaho.
While not as satisfying as "Riders of the Purple Sage," it is nonetheless a powerfully well written novel and would be of interest to anyone who enjoys the genre