Distiller: Hikari Loftus
by Erin Bowman
HMH Books for Young Readers (September 1, 2015)
“When her father is murdered for a journal that reveals the secret location of a gold mine, 18 year old Kate Thompson disguises herself as a boy and takes to the gritty plains looking for answers—and justice. What she finds are untrustworthy strangers and a pair of stubborn brothers who refuse to quit riding her shadow.
But as Kate gets closer to the secrets about her family, she gets closer to the truth about herself, and must decide if a heart so filled with hate has any room left for love.” (synopsis from dust jacket)
This is my first 5 star read of 2016! As a Utah girl and someone whose heart is filled with deep love for the West (it’s legends, it’s people, and "God’s Country") this story was right up my alley.
This isn’t some fluff story set in the West, this is a gritty, unforgiving tale of cowboys, outlaws, and Indians. It’s a tale of revenge, hate, unbearable sadness, and all types of love.
I love stories of all types of women from this time period, but I adore stories of a girl living in rough country that knows how to handle a horse, and take a man down with her sharp shooting skills. (anyone read “These is my Words” by Nancy Turner? It’s a similar type of story and it comes with my highest recommendation.)
I related to and connected so much with Kate. I feel like I would have thought, felt and done just as she did, and it’s rare that I find a character in which I can see myself so clearly. For that, I know this will always be a favorite of mine.
This book is loaded with feelings and how they govern a heart. I felt like the way those feelings were depicted and how events unfurled were some of the truest and realistic descriptions that I’ve read in a long while.
This is written in the language and diction of the old West, and I thought that it added a lot of wonderful character to the story.
I found this exciting, suspenseful, fun, and heartbreaking. It touched my heart in an honest way, and I’m so glad I finally read it!