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Riding the White Horse Home: A Western Family Album Paperback – May 31, 1994


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Departures (May 31, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679751351
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679751359
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #272,339 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Through four generations Jordan's family lived on a ranch in southeastern Wyoming. When it was sold, she felt she had lost a way of life. She attempts to resolve that loss in this charming memoir, recalling incidents in her childhood and examining the lives of female family members. We meet Jordan's paternal grandmother ("a difficult woman"), her mother and her great-aunt--all women who had to accept difficult lives that included hard physical labor and its attendant dangers. Noting the decline of the family farm, Jordan regrets that our culture teaches us to value a professional life more than one tied to the land. Her community, Iron Mountain, numbers 30 today, down from a population of 2000 a century ago.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Jordan grew up on a ranch in the Iron Mountain area of southeastern Wyoming. She presents a family album of memories about grandparents, parents, brothers, aunts, friends, and hired hands who had an influence on her thoughts and actions. The result is a no-holds-barred description of the joys and sorrows of ranch life, the hard economic times, the injuries and broken bones, and the endurance required for survival. Jordan relates how she longed to return to the ranch when she was away or living elsewhere. She describes the excitement of calving time and of breaking and riding horses and the importance of cattle in the ranch environment. Readers who like stories about life on the ranch will identify with many events in this book. Recommended for collections on Northwest lore.
- Irwin Weintraub, Rutgers Univ. Lib., Piscataway, N.J.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Loved this book - it's a keeper & I've recommended it to others.
Barbara A. Manis
There's much in this book to commend it, including a chapter devoted to the calving season and another describing the physically punishing nature of ranch work.
Ronald Scheer
This is a valuable book, one that will serve as an honest record of a place and a way of life there.
Ralph Beer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
Reading Teresa Jordan's novel Riding the White Horse Home inevitably inspires a sense of regret and loss. Throughout her portrayal of the rugged untamed wilds of Iron Mountain Wyoming and its people, she paints a vivid picture of a culture and a way of life that has all but died out. Using her own personal experiences with her friends and family, she shows the reader what ranch life was like. Her detail and imagery is superb as she takes her acquaintances one by one, chapter by chapter, and tells us their story. We learn of Sunny the grandfather who took pride in his way of life, of her mother who loves her yet is hard to understand, of her friend Kelley and how their kind are not socially accepted today, her small local wedding, childhood experiences, and more. She shows us the stark differences between ranch culture and the culture of progress. We see the unspoken rules and laws of her people and their stoicism. We come to admire their discipline and stubbornness, their ethic and devotion. And we feel the same sense of loss that Teresa must have felt as this way of life slowly drifted away. For me, it was this central message of the book that was most touching. As someone who grew up in and frequently visits Idaho, I can at least partly relate to her sadness at the change. Like her, I feel an odd sense of pride whenever anyone speaks with disdain of the old fashioned methods of my state. I enthusiastically tell all my friends the Idaho state motto; "Idaho IS, what America WAS." This is the way that Jordan displays the ranch life. She shows an honor and pride that has since been lost to the world. Her people respected hard work over hard cash, and took satisfaction from their endless labor.Read more ›
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ronald Scheer on April 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
There's a growing literature of memoirs written by women who grew up on ranches, and this is a fine addition to it. Jordan tells of her family, who for four generations raised cattle in southeast Wyoming, north of Laramie and Cheyenne. With some irony, it was more circumstance than a love of ranching that kept the Jordans on the land, until the author's father sold the home place in the 1970s. But the love of that spot on earth lives on strongly in the author, and her book is a tribute to it and to her family who toiled there through good years and bad.

She clearly admires the men who labored on horseback raising cattle, devoting chapters to her grandfather, her father, and the many foremen and ranch hands who worked for them. Fully engaging, too, are her memories of the women and the imprint they have made on herself. Three portraits in particular stand out: her mother, Jo, with a warm, generous, and independent spirit, who died suddenly at an early age; her great aunt Marie, who loved her horses and dogs like the children she never had, and lived happily together with her husband and her husband's best friend; and finally her grandmother Effie, a puzzlingly bitter woman whose wishes for a full life seem to have been frustrated from girlhood because of her gender and social limitations.

There's much in this book to commend it, including a chapter devoted to the calving season and another describing the physically punishing nature of ranch work. Her chapter on her great aunt Marie includes excerpts from her journals, and each chapter is introduced with a photograph from the family album.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 9, 1999
Format: Paperback
This story is simple, yet complex. It is easy to read, yet is very difficult to fully understand. On the surface, this book appears to be the typical biography of a ranch girl in rural Wyoming; telling of the lives of herself, her acquaintances, good friends and family. Looking a little deeper, it becomes apparent that she is setting the ranch culture apart from the rest of society, more or less as a separate entity. Constantly referring to "My people," marks the fact that she is arguing that her people are definitely of a different breed. She speaks of them as if they are of an entirely new ethnicity, which says a lot about how she really thinks of her people. This book is a chronicle of those people. They are ranchers and farmhands that we, our generation, have watched disappear. Her people have a deep sense of history. Her grandfather is so proud of his earlier relatives coming across the plains in the wake of Civil war, and making life for themselves. He determines to live his life the same way. Teresa learns that her people also like to embellish their own history, which makes them all the more colorful. It is, at least in part, this belief that their predecessors were all self-made men that drives Teresa's relatives to work hard for what they have. To work hard, and see the benefits of their work gives them a very real sense of satisfaction; ever hinting that this type of work-ethic is something America today has gotten away from. The work her people perform just to eke out a living is something most today do not understand.Read more ›
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