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Russell Rowland Æ 2 Review

In Open Spaces

S his family only to return to reclaim the family ranchBobThe youngest brother whose marriage to Helen creates a fault line between him and the rest of his familyBlakeA shrewd observant man burdened with growing suspicions of Jack's role in h I seldom give books even good books five stars but this book was so wonderful I couldn t resist it Russell Rowland is a wonderful writer His dialogues in the book are so natural it is almost like you are in the room with the characters listening to them talk His character development was complete and the story line was engrossing I loved the book and I am currently reading the seuel The Watershed Years which so far is as good as his first book I recommend In Open Spaces to anyone who enjoys reading about the struggles of a western family during the early part of the 20th century Green dog trumpet and other stories even good books five stars but this book was so wonderful I couldn t resist it Russell Rowland is a wonderful writer His dialogues in the book are so natural it is almost like you are in the room with the characters listening to them talk His character development was complete and the story line was Identity engrossing I loved the book and I am currently reading the seuel The Watershed Years which so far is as good as his first book I recommend In Open Spaces to anyone who Cenote enjoys reading about the struggles of a western family during the Sottomissione early part of the 20th century

Free download In Open Spaces

Is brother's deathWith breathtaking descriptions of the Montana landscape Russell Rowland masterfully weaves a fascinating tale of the psychological wars that can rip a family apartand ultimately the redemption that can bring them back togeth Set in Montana we step into the lives of the Arbunckle family from 1916 to 1946 through the depression This is a skilled writer who captures place people emotions and the drama of farm life with its hard work many losses and grief Through the eyes of Blake we experience the visceral life on a farm He stops school at the age of 16 when his brother drowns because he is needed on the farm He learns his brother had planned to try out as a pitcher for a baseball team in a city He finds his brother s drawings of how to hold the ball in the hand and a ticket to travel that had been sent to him by a scout He finds himself practicing and curious so he writes to the scout Eventually there is a reason to travel and he sets up an appointment he is offered a position on the team but once home he stays There is an influx of people traveling west and from the beginning we learn these honyockers weren t prepared for what was snow piled as high as their heads or cold air that froze their tears to their faces The book shows the rugged conditions the hard work the pioneers had to do to survive in the elements and the family relationships where the cultural norm is to hold uiet and not tell your secretsFarm life is hard When they find the cow in the field after giving birth her uterus hanging outside her body they must find the calf then stuggle to push her uterus back inside with many takes to exhaustion two neighbors a father and son die in their house in the middle of a long cold winter the drought goes on for ten years The neighbor who died had told Blake that the land beat the hell out of people a recurrent themeNear the end of the book the oldest son of Blake s brother Jack also named George drowns Blake thinks about his grief and how it grows the same way a child does To begin with neither can speak although both are adept at making their presence known sometimes subtly sometimes dramatically The message may not be clear but the depth of feeling the passion is never in doubt As it grows and ages grief developes a voice of its own a voice that needs an attentive patient ear to express its messages clearly And if itis ignored the voice will eventually demand attention until one day you turn around to find yourself looking it suarely in the face There is no choice in this progression The progression happens whether you permit it or not The choice comes in how you respond One of the best personifcations of grief I have ever readI am excited to read his next book The Watershed Years

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Set in the vast and unforgiving prairie of eastern Montana from 1916 to 1946 In Open Spaces is the compelling story of the Arbuckle brothersGeorgeA rising baseball star who mysteriously drowns in the riverJackA World War I veteran who abandon 351916 1945If the freezing Montana winters didn t get you the loneliness on the farms might Silence loneliness and harsh conditions are the norm here and those who are able to stay and endure tend to adopt a phlegmatic approach to life And so it is with the Arbuckle family to the extent that not much is said nor much emotion is shown when the eldest son George drowns this is not a spoiler see the book s blurbFarm duties demand sacrifices and honest hard working Blake another Arbuckle son and the narrator of this family saga has to make at least two potentially life changing sacrifices This too is done uietly and sto cally but underneath the surface resentment simmers as well as suspicions about George Jr s untimely demise In this family where problems are not discussed there are plenty of secretsThen there is the inevitable black sheep of the family Jack who view spoilersimply doesn t fit in who uses the farm s resources for one hare brained scheme after another and who periodically disappears from the scene which results in even work for those left behind hide spoiler


About the Author: Russell Rowland

I'm a Montana native and I returned home in 2007 My first novel In Open Spaces made the San Francisco Chronicle's bestseller list I got my MA in Creative Writing from Boston University in 1991 and have been a MacDowell fellow and a fortune cookie writer The Watershed Years the seuel to number one was published in 2007 and was a finalist for the High Plains Book Award In 2012 WEST OF 98



10 thoughts on “In Open Spaces

  1. says:

    Here is the Arbuckle family from 1916 46 Whew I couldn't put it down Each character is carved and the combination becomes dynamic Sad and filled with tragedy and yet such STRENGTH Very rarely do you get life in the country

  2. says:

    351916 1945If the freezing Montana winters didn't get you the loneliness on the farms might Silence loneliness and harsh conditions are the norm here and those who are able to stay and endure tend to adopt a phlegmatic approach to life And so it is with the Arbuckle family to the extent that not much is said nor

  3. says:

    This is an old fashioned saga about a family on a ranch in the southeast corner of Montana The story is told by one of four brothers starting in 1916 when he is a 14 year old boy and ending in 1946 Told in the first person it maintains a 1940s sensibility For even though it tells the story of the narrator's decades long attraction to his brother's wife there is still a chasteness about their relationship that would be implausible in a st

  4. says:

    45 Although I have not lived on a farm this gave me a picture of how hard the work is and how devastating the depression drought and dust bowl were for those working the land Interesting characters seen over time

  5. says:

    I just finished reading In Open Spaces It was one of those rare novels that I didn't want to put down Unfortunately life intruded and it seemed to take me forever to read it but I made myself finish it today des

  6. says:

    I seldom give books even good books five stars but this book was so wonderful I couldn't resist it Russell Rowland is a wonderful writer His dialogues in the book are so natural it is almost like you are in the room with the character

  7. says:

    A good old fashioned page turner which follows a Montana ranching family from 1916 1946 Solidly written but few moments of

  8. says:

    Set in Montana we step into the lives of the Arbunckle family from 1916 to 1946 through the depression This is a skilled writer who captures place people emotions and the drama of farm life with its hard work many losses and grief Through the eyes of Blake we experience the visceral life on a farm He stops school at the age of 16 wh

  9. says:

    I don't read many novels but this novel was truly wonderful Rowland writes a touching story about family in Eastern Montana His tale is about history hope family violence mystery and so much There is something to be said about a book that touches the reader in some many ways yet keeps them wondering and thinking I am a big fan of Ro

  10. says:

    I am currently taking part in the Around the USA in 52 Books Challenge and what I am enjoying most about the challenge is that I am reading books that I probably wouldn't have given a second glance One such book is In Open Spaces In Open Spaces is a family saga set in the early 20th century that centers on a ranch in So

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Tessa Young is an 18 year old college student with a simple life, excellent grades, and a sweet boyfriend She always has things planned out ahead of time, until she meets a rude boy named Harry, with too many tattoos and piercings who shatters her plans.