The Good Journey by Micaela Gilchrist

The Good Journey

Inspired by actual letters, The Good Journey breathes life into history with a richly imagined chronicle of twenty tumultuous years in the marriage of two American pioneers. Strong-willed Southern belle Mary Bullitt abandons her life of luxury in Louisville, Kentucky, when she marries General Henry Atkinson and accompanies him to his outpost on the Mississippi. Nothing has prepared her for marriage to this attractive older man -- or for the real...

Details The Good Journey

TitleThe Good Journey
Release DateNov 12th, 2002
PublisherSimon & Schuster
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Literature, 19th Century

Reviews The Good Journey

  • Karyl
    What a fantastically written book! Based on letters written by the real-life heroine, The Good Journey follows the marriage of Mary Bullitt to General Henry Atkinson, one of the men charged with making the frontier "safe" for white settlers. I really enjoyed that Mary was not your typical early 19th century woman, full of vapors and hysteria. She was intelligent, witty, possessed of her own mind, and set on remaining unmarried so as not to become...
  • Lori
    I picked this up on a whim and loved it! It is one of those books I was sad to finish. Towards the very end of the book, I discovered that this book is based on and taken from actual diaries and historical papers. Here is the story of Mary Bullit who marries a significantly older man who is a general at the "edge of civilization" on the Indian frontier near St. Louis in the 1820's and 30's. This story of her life and the Black Hawk wars tells a s...
  • Kristina
    Absolutely loved this book. If any of you have read it let me know what you thought. It was descriptive and had well-developed characters. I felt very involved in the story. I'm terrible at writing so can't give full credit to what I thought of this book. :) I did see she wrote one other book (which I am trying to locate - it's not at the PPL) but hasn't since which is a shame to me as she is an excellent writer.
  • Cyndi
    I never quite know what to think of historical fiction. In the back of my mind, the "but is it true?" question always looms. In this case, their relationship is a major portion of the book. I think it's difficult to ever know another couple's relationship, but looking back through the lens of time and culture makes in even more difficult. So I just had a hard time believing. And it felt like she was making it a bit more spicy to appeal to modern ...
  • Judy
    rating: 2 for first 80+ pages; 3 for the rest of the bookThis is a tough review to write. I liked the idea that it was based on actual letters, and I wanted to learn something about Gen'l Atkinson, and I know very little about the tribes and the injustices of that time and place, so I saw this as my introduction to both.The Author's Note was promising:p 6: Every Sunday evening in the library of her home in Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, Mary Bulli...
  • Nicole Northrup
    This was the fascinating story of Mary Bullit from a very well to do family in Louisville, KY who marries a general named Henry Atkinson. The general is much older (she adores him). He lives in Missouri on an army post, so they move to the frontier and more austere life. His job in this pre-Civil War period is to keep the peace between the Indians and settlers. Atkinson has a great deal of respect for the Native tribes, although he has been to wa...
  • Susanne
    This book was very impressive in the amount of research that Gilchrist completed in writing this book, both primary and secondary. The true story of the General and Mary Bullitt is amazing, and I applaud the author for "getting it right." However, it reads more a like a university press book that focuses on historical details in depth rather than a book with characters a reader can relate to. I had a hard time empathizing with any of the characte...
  • Susanne Bloomfield
    This book was very impressive in the amount of research that Gilchrist completed in writing this book, both primary and secondary. The true story of the General and Mary Bullitt is amazing, and I applaud the author for "getting it right." However, it reads more a like a university press book that focuses on historical details in depth rather than a book with characters a reader can relate to. I had a hard time empathizing with any of the characte...
  • Ellen
    3.5 stars
  • Sunni
    I loved the characters. Excellent narrative of life in the 1800s.
  • Amber
    I really enjoyed this work of historical fiction. It was a small window into the shameful history of how Native Americans have been and continue to be treated in this country through the lens of people who were a part of that mistreatment and displacement. It was fascinating to see that they appear to have known what they were doing was wrong on some level, but participated in it all anyway. Good read.
  • Donia
    I picked this book up over and over trying with difficulty to finish reading it. The style of writing was extremely uneven. I had to work very hard at times reading sentences over several times to figure out who the author was speaking about. There were chapters that were clearer than others; the short glimpse into the early months of the couple's marriage was sweet and a bit clearer than other chapters but most of the book was very unclear to me...
  • Emma
    Over all I thought this book was wonderful. I liked the parallels it had between the fight against the Native Americans in nineteenth century America and the societal believes of the nineteenth century Southern society. In addition to the interesting stories of contacts with the Native Americans, this story encompasses a very unique love story which is sure to keep any reader on the edge of their seat. Although there were a few holes in the plot,...
  • Evelyn
    After a courtship of three days, Mary Bullitt marries General Henry Atkinson and moves to a Missouri army base with him, soon learning that he is infatuated with a young Native American translator. Lyrically written first novel. Based on the archival letters of Mary Bullitt and military studies of General Atkinson. Fascinating, in-depth characterizations and riveting historical details make for an exceptional read. Highly recommend
  • Alison L
    I am always hesitant to read books involving the military because I know that there will be bad language and that was true for this book. I wanted to stop half way through because I was just bored with the story, but I kept thinking it had to get better...but it didn't. And, even though I don't expect a happy ending in every book I read, I was hoping that this would end better than it did. I wish I could get back the hours that I spent reading th...
  • Annie
    From the glowing description on the back, this looked very promising - "inspired by actual letters" and "chronicle of twenty years in the... marriage of two American pioneers" . But 30 pages into the book..and it seemed "the tradition of Willa Cather" here, was inching towards the tradition of Rosemary Rogers. That's just not my idea of a good journey. Maybe I should give it another 30 pages but I'm a firm believer in first impressions. And so ma...
  • Elaine Cougler
    The Good Journey by Micaela Gilchrist was a first novel of the first order. Historical fiction centering around the settling of the Midwest through the Indian wars, arranged marriages and larger-than-life characters, the book promises much and delivers more. The author seamlessly takes the reader from present to past and from story to story, all the while creating the tapestry of the European settling of the new world. Great first novel!
  • Beccashull
    Fantastic! I enjoyed this book and hated to put it down.... even to feed the kids. It pulls you in from the beginning to end. I found the historical information fascinating. It felt real and honest. A great find! A book I know I will re-read in the future. It is filled history, love, confusion, humor and wit. Just read it and you wont be sorry! Fantastic! I enjoyed this book and hated to put it down.... even to feed the kids. It pulls you in fr...
  • April
    I really enjoyed this. Similar to These is my Words in that it's the story of a woman trying to survive the frontier. She is also trying to work out an imperfect marriage to a general husband that frequently leaves to try to bring peace to relations between Indians and the settlers. He is tight lipped about his past life before her and such is much of the drama of the book. Very good.
  • Annie
    The three different narrators and not chronological time skips made the book a little confusing. The book was a interesting durring the Black Hawk war and the parts where Mary is trying to solve the mystery of her husbands deep connection with the indians, but the rest of the book was slow and nothing much happend.
  • Gordon Ehler
    A marvelous tale that convincingly portrays the struggle between Indians and whites in the Black Hawk War without sentimentality, but still conveys the emotions of the struggle along with the inner conflicts of the well-drawn characters. One of the best books I have read. I loved the conclusion of the novel. Micaela Gilchrist excels.
  • Suzanne
    The Good Journey is a beautifully written historical fiction novel set during the Black Hawk War between the white men and the Native Americans. I enjoyed Mary, the main character because she is not your typical pre-Civil War damsel in distress. She is sassy and confident. There were many laugh-out-loud moments in this book which were quite refreshing. A very nice story.
  • Anita
    It took me awhile to read this book. Lots of detail and descriptions about life in early 1800's on the frontier as the settlers moved into Indian territory. Based on the life of General Henry Atkinson , his strong willed wife Mary Bullit Atkinson and the Indian Warrior Black Hawk. A surprise ending which being historical fiction I was not sure if it was true.
  • Natalie
    Part history, mystery and romance. I loved this book. The characters came alive to me. When I put the book down, my desire to get back to Henry, Mary and Bright Sun over-ruled. I found myself reading until the early morning hours. I could not put it down.Historical fiction based on the 20-year marriage of General Akinson and his wife Mary during the 1820's-40's.
  • Laura
    This book really was well written. I enjoyed 2/3 if it...but I didn't like the setting of the Native American/Pioneer/US Army wars. Near the end, I really didn't like it. Very depressing as I thought this was going to be a great book.
  • Deana
    I loved this historical novel based on the lives on an army General and his wife set in the 1820s-30s. A very poignant look into a struggling marriage and family. A revealing look at the continual evacuation and extermination of the American Indians.
  • Marvin
    A historical novel narrated by the young wife of Gen. Henry Atkinson in the years surrounding the Black Hawk War. I'm not sure what to think about it. There's some beautiful writing, but it seems uneven. And it's always interesting but sometimes seems melodramatic & also at times anachronistic.
  • Erika
    Such an intriguing story set in our nation's early frontier times. Following the story of a heroine who has much to learn about her husband it is a lovely story that really explores her journey from riches to the frontier and her relationship with her husband.
  • Colleen
    I used to never give up on books, but lately I do because I have a growing stack of others to read. I guess I would sum it up as I didn't like the authors writing style. However, I only got 30 pages in.