"There are some books that you just tear through at a rapid pace, not caring about the writing because you have to know what happens, and you have to know right now.  Then there are books that are so beautiful that you want to draw out the reading experience as long as possible.  You only read a chapter or two at a time because you want to enjoy it for as long as you can.  This is the latter kind of book.  It is a story to savor.


"Rush of Shadows tells the story of Mellie and Law, settlers who set out to build a home and make a life in the northern California wilderness....More than any other book I've read, Rush of Shadows allows me to imagine what life was like for the early settlers....One of the most noteworthy characters is Bahe, a native woman whom Mellie comes to understand and trust.  Their friendship is the cornerstone of this unusual and lovely take on the American West." 


- San Francisco Book Review


"A vividly imagined historical drama of racial tension on America's last frontier.... From its first line - 'It was a beautiful country, though I hated and feared it' - Bell's is a nuanced, intelligently crafted debut.  This complex, confident novel introduces a promising new voice in historical fiction."


- Kirkus Reviews

"With this first novel, Catherine Bell takes her place among the vanguard of writers reconstructing an American paradigm that is truer, grittier, sadder, and ultimately more satisfying than the myths we’ve crafted to expunge our history’s unsavory passages.  The story’s unsentimental denouement is uplifting in its honesty.  Along the way, Bell makes us think long and hard about how this nation was built and at what moral cost.  A good, deep read, by a steely White woman unafraid to be fair to all parties.  Mvto! " 

Dr. Darnella Davis, Native American artist (Creek), PhD in Indian education policy

"The story is a quietly impressive and thoroughly convincing tale."

Robert Bausch, author of
A Hole in the Earth and Far as the Eye Can See.
"With lyrical grace and human insight, Catherine Bell brings to life the hopes and tragedies of frontier California, as Anglo settlers collide and cooperate with Native Americans and advance one culture over another.  This is a perceptive novel from a writer of great promise, who has empathy for her characters, a talent for research, and a flair for description.  She confidently takes us to another time and place."

William Dietrich, author of the Ethan Gage adventure series.