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Montana Women Paperback – July 1, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 305 pages
  • Publisher: Soho Press; Reissue edition (July 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0939149893
  • ISBN-13: 978-0939149896
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #271,355 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In chronicling the lives of two sisters over a span of 16 years, this promising first novel illuminates the shifting patterns in lives and families. At the end of WW II, Pearl and Etta of Great Falls, Mont., are living in their deceased parents' house, working at tedious jobs and occasionally venturing out for an uneventful dinner. Change comes when Pearl meets Gordon Buckman. She's soon married, a mother and living on Buck's ranch 80 miles from town. Pearl loves the land and is a good farm wife, but she isn't genuinely happy. Buck is too restless to settle down and spends most of his time drinking. Etta, living an unruffled and tranquil existence in town, cultivates her spiritual leanings and struggles with the memories of their cruel father. The sisters' degrees of self-knowledge develop through the years; eventually Pearl and her daughter move in with Etta. In a voice of spare, poetic energy, Volk offers some refreshing characterizations, but her narrative fails to overcome the dullness of Pearl and Etta's everyday problems or, alternately, to captivate the reader with a strong sense of time and place.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

YA-- During World War II, sisters Etta and Pearl, both in their 20s, are grieving because of the deaths of the men they loved. Etta stiffens her spine to become self-sufficient, determined to maintain her independence and to restrict herself to casual relationships. In contrast, Pearl considers suicide and is convinced that if she lives, she must have a man in her life. She marries handsome Buck and moves to his father's ranch. She adapts--perhaps too well--to rural life, a hostile father-in-law, the physical isolation of the ranch, and even to unreliable Buck. The two women travel different paths, yet both seek contentment and a sense of self-worth. Volk tells a complex story in a simple style. Pearl; her daughter, Katie; and Etta are believable characters, and YAs will come to care about them and the realistic consequences of their actions. The author illustrates the solitude and harshness of life, particularly on a ranch. Teens will identify with these characters who stumble in their decision-making, search to define and redefine themselves, and grow stronger with their experiences. A book that clearly demonstrates that all of life is a growth and learning cycle, this is also an enjoyable, worthwhile novel for young women who are blazing their own paths.
- Sue Davis, Cedar Falls High School, IA
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Toni Volk, born and raised in Montana, has a journalism degree from the University of Montana and an MFA from the Iowa Writers Workshop, which also awarded her the James A. Michener Fellowship. Volk has lived and worked in Oregon, New York, Mexico and San Diego. She now resides in Spokane, WA.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By "pattysmithstfe" on May 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I found Montana Women especially engaging for its portrayal of the ongoing acts of violence that take place in the lives of women--some so subtle that they are taken for granted--and for the characters' strength and courage to thrive nonetheless. Volk's skill at rendering characters makes them memorable, believable, and, oh, so likeable. My heart even went out to Buck and his struggle to outrun the demons constantly at his heels. He is so credible, he almost steals the show. But these female characters can hold their own.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M.R. Todd on May 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
Montana Women is a beautifully written novel. Ms. Volk's portrayal of the female psyche is stunning, making her characters remarkably real. I especially love Etta. Even Buck, the story's "bad guy," is so vulnerable in Ms. Volk's hands that one can't help but forgive his humanness.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've got this book in hard back (autographed by the author) as well as on my Kindle. I love it. The author has an incredible writing style and her stories flow. They are easy to relate to as I grew up during this era.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Toni Volk has penned a fine novel of mid-20th century ranch life in Montana. Having spent nearly a third of my life there, I found the characters both typical and revealing of the prairie dweller's mindset. The torment and joys that Buck, Pearl, Etta, and Katie experience are like the landscape itself, ever changing and unpredictable. "Montana Women" is a novel that keeps the reader engaged, charmed, challenged, and hoping. Great storytelling! I highly recommend it.
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