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Lonesome Land

B. M. Bower

Book Overview: 

Val had come to Montana to marry a cowboy named Manley, envisioning a life of wedded bliss, freedom, and was anticipating happiness in her adopted part of the country. She would soon learn that the winters could be cruel and lonesome for a woman living on a ranch which was situated miles from the nearest neighbor. She would learn that her husband spent most of his time drinking. And she would learn that everybody has their own methods of dealing with the harshness and loneliness of the land she has come to call home. Val is determined to re-invent her notions about men and women, her new duties in life, and life as it existed in the relatively new West. At every turn, her will and her strength are tested. Would she find the strength within herself to overcome the hardships, or would she succumb to the reality of her surroundings?

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .de, parched coulee, and then came upon a barren little habitation inclosed in a meager fence of the barbed wire she thought so detestable, she shut her eyes mentally to something she could not quite bring herself to face.

He lifted her out and tumbled the great trunks upon the ground before he drove on to the corrals. "Here's the key," he said, "if you want to go in. I won't be more than a minute or two." He did not look into her face when he spoke.

Val stood just inside the gate and tried to adjust all this to her mental picture. There was the front yard, for instance. A few straggling vines against the porch, and a sickly cluster or two of blossoms—those were the sweet peas, surely. The sun-baked bed of pale-green plants without so much as a bud of promise, she recognized, after a second glance, as the poppies. For the rest, there were weeds against the fence, sun-ripened grass trodden flat, yellow, gravelly patches where no. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Classic Bower tale

It was, as always, a source of pure joy for me to read and digest Bower's plot. She succeeded again in thoroughly developing the characters.

Not as enjoyable as some of her other books. I see it has a strong autobiographical element.

A classic Ranch Romance with all of the classic formula in place and so pretty predictable. However, finding out that this story is largely taken from the author's life adds a layer to how I think of this novel. The Mary Sue here is Val, an utterly shallow and rigid character at the start who is bot

Yet another second-rate contemporary book drove me back to cowboy books from a century ago. What's going on with modern writers (besides the fact that proper grammar, as it was taught up into the 1960s, if not beyond, seems no longer to matter to writers, who were at one time, presumably, English ma

One of Bower's Best

Fast-paced, with characters who become more real with every page, rushing toward an inevitable end like a greek tragedy. Worth the read.

Okay, it's not the best book I've ever read, and the writing isn't all that sophisticated, but once you know the background of the author, E.M. Bower (a city woman who 100 years ago was thrust out in the middle of bleak, eastern Montana utter crappiness and then faced her husband's domestic abuse an

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