Tag Archive | cattle ranching

“To Honor and Cherish” by Kari Trumbo

“To Honor and Cherish” by Kari Trumbo was an interesting book to read.  It started out very well and I thought that this would be one of my favorites of this genre.  The more I read, the more confused I became.

Jax is constantly on the run from a ruthless businessman bent on killing him.  Why Jax doesn’t stand up to him is a mystery to me.  Everywhere Jax ends up, so there is Lars Larsen.  Jax seems a decent guy, but I cannot imagine that this scenario keeps going on, that is, until he starts working for Meg.

Meg’s husband has only been dead a month and she needs a ranch foreman.  There is a convoluted story about her father stipulating that the first of his two daughters to marry and have a child will get the ranch.  Sister Lizzie doesn’t particularly want the ranch; she just wants to beat Meg at anything and everything.  This was the first scenario that irritated me.  What woman who supposedly loved her husband has erotic notions about a drifter she just met and whom she know nothing about.

I’m sorry to have to give this review, but I must write my honest opinion of the work.  I’m not sure where this novel went wrong, but I felt as though every morning while writing, the author would come up with another disaster to be taken care of.  There was always the specter of Larsen and his men coming after Jax.  They knew where he was, he knew they knew and the tension that created just didn’t ring true to me.  Then there was a horseback trip to Canada to fetch Lizzie who had run away and had a complete change of character while gone two weeks.  Unbelievable!  And all this after more drama than I could stand.  I did finish the book, but I was aggravated that I’d spent that much time reading it.  I should have followed my instincts the minute my brain ceased to function while reading.

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“Never Done” by Grace Dehlinger

“Never Done” by Grace Dehlinger, a book about settling in Colorado during westward expansion.  Albert Willin brought his wife and daughters to the San Luis Valley to start a cattle ranch and has prospered well.  The family lives in a beautiful home on the prairie. After the death of his wife and sons, Albert marries his first cousin, sixteen-year-old Geneva, the best friend of his daughter, Clara.  The story centers on his daughter Clara, who at the beginning of the book is a spunky fourteen-year-old, becomes a young woman, married to a cow-puncher, and living in a shack, finds life harder than she ever imagined.  Following her husband Vincent from job to job and taking her children with them becomes a way of life for Clara.  The animosity between Geneva and Clara makes living in harmony impossible.

After Vincent takes to the bottle to drown his sorrows at not being able to provide for his family causes he and Clara to separate and eventually divorce.  Clara works hard and steadily at different jobs to provide for her children.   Along the way she meets Jonas and after a year’s courtship, they marry.  However, tragedy follows Clara throughout her life and she becomes a stronger woman for it.

I enjoyed this book because I think it gave a perceptible view of what life in the west was like in those early years.  The work was back-breaking, the weather harsh, and the rewards few.  Very well written, this book kept my interest throughout.  I felt so much compassion and sorrow for Clara and her children and I kept wanting things to get better.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley.com and was under no obligation to post a review.