Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Charlene Reviews: A Story of the West by Susan Spence

ISBN #: 978-1440147999
Page Count: 328
Copyright: June 8, 2009
Publisher: iUniverse.com

(Taken from back cover)

Matt Daly and his father first came to Montana Territory driving a herd of Texas longhorns in the 1880s. They, like many others, were determined to make a living on the lawless frontier. Life was hard, but fulfilling, as there was money to be made selling beef to the exploding population back east.

When the train came through, it made life easier and it also brought more people. Lavina Lavold rode out with her family seeking adventure, which she found when she met Matt and fell in love.

Conflicts were common as there were rustlers who wanted the Daly cattle and other ranchers who wanted the land they had claimed as their own. It didn't matter that the vast prairie still belonged to the federal government.

Charlene's Review:

A Story of the West is a historical Western/fiction that weaves the tale of Matt Daly and the loves of his life; the Montana Territory, cattle herding, and his wife, Lavina. Set in the late 1800s, this story depicts the harsh living and rugged terrain that cowboys thrived in. It also captures the raw beauty of living off the land. Matt and his father, Big John, face the hardship of protecting their land and cattle from encroaching ranchers. In the west, it was every man for himself. After a particularly heinous land battle, Matt finds himself on the wrong end of the law, and fights his biggest battle yet; finding his way back home.

Ms. Spence has a passion for the West that is palpable in this story. The characters and backdrop are meticulously shaped, and bring the book to life. From the first chapter, Matt has his eye on Lavina, and their love story fills the entire book. There is no shortage of action or suspense, as we watch daily life unfold for this frontier family. The hardships endured only caused to endear me further to these characters. I was captivated by the end, and especially appreciated the tender ending to a life-long love.

Ms. Spence has a gift for storytelling that I hope to enjoy again.

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