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This may end up as one of my most-loved top 5 all-time books - who would have thought that a story about a year in the life of Doc Holliday could be so spellbinding? Mary Doria Russell gets everything right, from the very first page where she hooks you with John Henry Holliday's birth story and the love and tenaciousness of his mother Mary. From there, the gentility of the southern culture and way of life that he came from is in such sharp contrast to his life in Dodge City, Kansas and other locales out west, where he retreated to due to his tuberculosis, the same disease which takes his young mother from him at age 15. In 1878 Dodge, we encounter a murder mystery, the Earp brothers like we've never known them, Big-Nosed Kate, a Austrian Jesuit priest and a whole host of gunslingers, cowboys, prostitutes, a Chinese laundryman and entrepreneur and politicians of every stripe. The writing is almost musical in it's lyricism and the relationships and characters are so finely sculpted, it is a story and a book you won't soon forget.