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Claiming ground
Laura Bell
Adult Nonfiction F765.22.B45 A3 2010

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From Publishers' Weekly:

For 22-year-old Bell, the summer of 1977 fulfilled a childhood dream, a time that she narrates in this wonderfully written, if understated, memoir. Living in a remote Wyoming cabin, she spent days perched atop a 16-hand red roan gelding, exploring the harsh, rugged beauty of the Big Horn Basin. That fall she accepted a winter job in the lambing sheds of Whistle Creek Ranch. "I'd gone because I was drawn to this nomadic life of horses and sheep and dogs. I'd gone because I was young and lost and had no idea where else to go. I arrived in the snows of February, twenty degrees below zero, and made my home in a sheep wagon parked under the bare-branched cottonwoods of the Whistle Creek Ranch." Over the years Bell worked as a sheep herder, cattle hand, forest ranger, outfitter, masseuse, wife, and mother. Bell's extraordinary ability to impart a true sense of place on each page reveals a stark and stunning landscape populated with a playbill of peculiar personalities attracted to a life of solitude and hard physical work, and her life within this remarkable world. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

After college, a Kentucky girl spends a summer in Wyoming to find herself and regroup. Thirty years later, she's still there. In this memoir, Bell vividly depicts her life out West, starting with her first job herding sheep-an occupation usually done by men. She goes on to write about her life as a ranch hand, masseuse, housewife, stepmother, and forest ranger, mixing work experiences with touching and poignant accounts of family and friends. She also describes the Wyoming landscape in brilliant detail, revealing her love for the place. In reliving some of the sadder moments of her life, Bell uses a simple writing style that strengthens this memoir while giving it a raw poignancy to which anyone can relate. Verdict An award-winning author for her short pieces, Bell here turns in satisfying reading for ranching enthusiasts, memoir fanatics, and anyone who likes to get lost in stories about rural life and nature's beauty. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 11/1/09.]-Erica Swenson Danowitz, Delaware Cty. Community Coll., Media, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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