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A Story of the West Paperback – June 8, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse (June 8, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 144014799X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1440147999
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,254,001 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Susan Spence writes about the West, both old and new. She watches the prairie, alive with deer and antelope, eagles and hawks, rabbits and snakes. The animals share an old sheep shearing station with the author and her husband while she tells stories about the people who live there. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

More About the Author

Susan Spence writes about the West, both old and new. She watches the prairie, alive with deer and antelope, eagles and hawks, rabbits and snakes. The animals share an old sheep shearing station with the author and her husband while she tells stories about the people who live there.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
5 star
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See all 18 customer reviews
It was all very interesting.
Wall-to-wall books
Ms. Spence did a wonderful job recreating the development of the West and portraying what family life was like during the 1800's.
Silver's Reviews
Description gave depth to the characters and the situations.
Richard

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Wanda Peters on June 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
For the first half of the book I was so bored that I almost deleted the book from my kindle. Then the story picked up with a lot of action. Unfortunately the hero also turned into a worthless drunk at the same point. It was hard to sympathize or empathize with him because of his own self destructive habits. When he finally gets back to being human the story again becomes boring. On the plus side I did finally finish the book so I gave it an average rating.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L. Christensen on June 10, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I nearly didn't write a review because I didn't want to be the only one who wasn't impressed with this book. I found it to be terribly slow the first almost half of the book. Slow to the point I nearly deleted it. The story felt all over the place. I really like a lot of detail so you feel you're part of the story, however, too often this went into way too much detail to the point of boring. It was very real to the time period but I probably wouldn't recommend this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By kbusz on October 18, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was an interesting read. The author spent a good part of the first half of the book developing characters and the setting for the book. The descriptions of how to saddle a horse or round up cattle, to the setting of the ranch, and the inside of the house, painted a great picture of the west in the 1800s.

The second part of the book had more action, and the descriptions continued to help me feel like I was right there with the main characters.

Our book club had the rare opportunity to discuss this book with the author. What a delight it was to hear how she went about writing the book and where the origin of the story began.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Wall-to-wall books on June 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
Well this book was not what I expected! Holy cow!
It was a tad bit slow starting out, but then got real good when the little love story was thrown in there. It went from a love story to sadness to adventure and suspense, back to love story, back to sadness.... I love a book that can take you from the edge of your seat to sobbing in a matter of pages!
And - how can I talk about this book without giving it all away? Well - there are so many things that happened that just blew my mind. It was not predictable at all. My sweet happily ever after turned into a gunslinger adventure book!
Now I have to admit - I have never been the gunslinger type of gal. I am more the woman staying home keeping ranch waiting for her man kinda gal. But I really got into this book! At first I wasn't sure I even liked Matt Daly - I really liked Lavina, but then half way through I really did start liking Matt and I was rooting for him and actually respected him!
The book switches back and forth from Matt's point of view to Lavina's point of view and I really love books that do that. Of course I loved Lavina's part better only because I can connect with a female better. She started out as a frail shy naive little girl and ended up being a Kick-ass woman of the west! I loved her!

"Hello, I'm Mrs. Daly, and I wish to withdraw funds from my husbands account." ...
The young man facing Lavina wasn't sure how to handle her request.... He was faced with what he considered a big decision. The large amount Mrs. Daly wanted would drain the account.
"How much do you need?" He asked again in a condescending tone. It was an obvious attempt to hide his inexperience. "Isn't there someone who could sign for you?
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
Don't let the first few chapters fool you - a little background on Matt and his family is in order first. This book becomes intriguing and grabs your attention quickly. I couldn't put it down as I neared the end of the book, indeed, I stood at my kitchen counter eating dinner, fork in one hand and book in the other, until I read it through!

Susan's attention to historical details of the old West is dead-on. And yet I still learned new things about the West, such as the line shacks on the range that the cowboys stayed in while they were checking on the cattle. Many of us long for what we consider "simpler" times, however, reading Susan's details of life on the range reveals that while it may have been a simpler time, it was at the same time an extremely difficult life and a hard-scrabble existence.

Susan ends her book with an epilogue to Matt and Lavina's life on the range. Thus we journey through most of Matt's life, to feel what he felt as he neared the end of his life ~ a life full of richness that celebrated the simple pleasures that many of us have forgotten in the last one hundred years. I truly marvel how far our U.S. civilization has advanced in the short span of 100 years. It doesn't seem so long ago that our determined pioneer ancestors roamed these grasslands, forging out a new life for generations yet to come.

This book would make a wonderful gift for any western or historical fiction buffs, in addition to subtly teaching our younger readers about life on the prairie. It's a beautiful story rich with historical details and pioneer characters that will make you yearn to be part of the exciting times in our nation's birth! I heartily recommend A Story of the West.
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Format: Paperback
In "A Story of the West" Susan Spence captures a period in time in such a way that you feel like you have lived then and there. She has done her research well and aptly recreates the feeling of what it would have been like to live and work as a rancher, ranch hand, or ranch wife in the 1880's in the Montana Territory of the U.S.

Reading the first chapter I thought I might be in for just a history lesson, sort of a History Channel episode in book form. Susan sets the scene with great attention to detail, showing the reader exactly what it took to make a living in the 1800's in the cold, dry Western states.

But not to worry, because the story soon bursts wide open with love affairs, cattle rustlers, gunfights and everything else that would have happened to any family living on the frontier in those times. What I like best about Susan's action and drama is that it feels so real and gritty--not like a glossy Hollywood western. Her early chapters set up the harsh reality in which characters live their lives--teasing out the minute details of horsemanship, cattle raising, ranch cooking and local politics. So when the action starts, and it does so with gusto, the events unfold in a way that feels like you are living the history, not watching a fantasy reproduction with special effects and trick lighting.

This is the real West, and these are the real people who lived it.

So if you like to learn about how history was really made, read "A Story of the West."

This book would also make a great gift for any fan of Westerns, or anyone who currently lives and works the ranching and/or farming life and wants to see what it was like in the "olden" days.
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