A Poignant Portrait of Calamity Jane A review of Michelle Rene’s book, Hour Glass.

Hour Glass Calamity Jane True West Magazine
Hour Glass by Michelle Rene. (Amberjack Publishing, $14.99)

Michelle Rene’s novel, Hour Glass, is a moving, revealing picture of the legendary Calamity Jane.

The author tells her compassionate story through the eyes of 12-year-old Jimmy Glass. Historical inaccuracies marring the novel include: Calamity Jane did not tour with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show; she and Wild Bill Hickok were not “close” friends; Du Fran did not operate a house of joy in Deadwood in 1876; and a smallpox outbreak did not attack the new mining boomtown in 1876.

These fictional events are minor compared to Rene’s major contributions. Her appealing treatment of Calamity’s complex character, her use of the youthful male narrator, and her captivating depiction of life in frontier Deadwood are first rate.

—Richard W. Etulain, author of The Life and Legends of Calamity Jane

The Real and Imagined Life of Calamity Jane

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