Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Book Review: The Widow Smalls and other stories by Jamie Lisa Forbes

Thirty years of browbeating from rancher Bud Smalls has penned his wife, Leah, into emotional isolation,  Now Bud is gone and Leah owns the ranch, but there is no help forthcoming from Bud's brothers who want to force her out and take the ranch for themselves.  

When their attempt to humiliate her instead becomes her opportunity to succeed, Leah begins to find her way back to herself and learns how much she can gain by opening her heart.

The Widow Smalls is just one of the stories in this collection by the WILLA Award winning author of Unbroken, Jamie Lisa Forbes, who writes about the hardships of making a living from the land with an understanding that comes from first-hand experience.  

Her deftly drawn characters include star-crossed lovers, a young rancher facing his first test of moral courage, an inscrutable ranch hand claiming impressive relative, a father making one last grasp for his daughter's love and a child's struggle to make sense in a world around her.  Each will pull you into the middle of their stories and keep you turning the pages.

About the Author: Jamie Lisa Forbes
Jamie Lisa Forbes was raised on a family ranch in southeastern Wyoming.  She graduated from the University of Colorado with honors in 1977 and then lived in Isreal until 1979, when she returned to her family's ranch and raised her own family over the next fifteen years.  Today, she writes and practices law in Greensboro, North Carolina.  She enjoys spending time with her grandsons and playing old time Appalachian fiddle.  With her Arabian horse, Cody, and her cattle dog, Reb, she still devotes part of her life to the outdoors.

My Review: 

This is my first book by Jamie Lisa Forbes and while the stories in Widow Smalls and other stories all have a melancholy feel to them, Jamie has the capability to bring you to a vivid western era long gone and paint a colorful picture of a time since past.  In each story you are inserted midway into a story and shown a piece of someones life as if you are a fly on the all of their life for a short period of time.  I enjoyed reading about the struggles of everyday life and it helped me to appreciate the conveniences we now enjoy that weren't readily available.  These short stories/novellas were equivalent to a teaser trailer would be to a movie...they all left me wanting to know more.  For this reason I give the book a 3 out of 5.

Views expressed are those of two children and a Migraine and not influenced in anyway.  No compensation was received for this post.

1 comment:

Teddy Rose said...

Thanks for taking part in the tour. I'm glad you enjoyed the landscape and characters.