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Waltzing Cowboys Paperback – January 1, 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Waltzing Cowboys is a splendid novel, in design and execution a fancy two-step the past does with the present. Ms. Honenberger is a writer with a wealth of talent, all of which she wisely spends in the service of her characters, for hers is the notion that we servants of the liar s art have the moral obligation to address the truths slight and grand, welcome and not that animate our crooked kind. Lordy, what sweet music this writing is to my ear. --Lee Abbott, Pulitzer Prize nominee and author of All Things, All At Once

I read Waltzing Cowboys with a great deal of pleasure. The writing is alive . . . sense of place is excellent, and . . . for all its dark side, it is, finally, a happy story about good people, unusual in this day and age. Unflinching, yet positive. --George Garrett, Novelist, Former Chair UVA English Dept, Former VA Poet Laureate

White Lies is a brilliant debut by a fine new novelist, a rare gem - a superbly written tale that deals with the sorts of things that matter most in life - such as love and family - and also with such great and timeless themes as tragedy and triumph; character strengths and failings; duty, honor and integrity; and courage in the face of adversity. Sarah Collins Honenberger is a gifted storyteller, a master of nuance who knows how to move you deeply; how to lift your heart; how to grab your attention and hold it. -----Copley News Service

About the Author

Sarah Collins Honenberger's first novel, White Lies: A Tale of Babies, Vacccines, and Deception, (Cedar Creek, December 2006) was a nominee for the Library of Virginia Fiction award in 2007. Her second novel Waltzing Cowboys was an Editor's Pick for December 08 on Bookviews.com. Her first prize short stories have appeared in Antietam Review, New Millenium, South Lit, and The HooK.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Cedar Creek Publishing; 1st edition (January 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979020565
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979020568
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,958,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Three years out from cancer surgeries and treatment, I'm still inspired by all the courageous people I met, but am writing full speed ahead, albeit with a deeper sense of the value of humor and not squandering the time we're given with the people we love. Writing fiction satisfies my sense of adventure in the everyday, ordinary people put to the test in all kinds of ways by ordinary and extraordinary events: the 14-year-old sister who can't save her brother from drowning, the mother of a vaccine injured baby, an old cowboy who ran away from a pregnant wife forty years earlier, the 16-year-old boy who tells it like it is as he struggles to live a whole lifetime in the year the doctor's give him once he's diagnosed with leukemia. For me, the miracle of writing is that mere words, albeit honed with a fierce red editing pen, can create these characters and make them friends.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I always make it a point to buy at least one book at book signings where I'm also pushing product. My motives are mixed. I joke that it's like priming a pump. I buy one of yours and you reciprocate. I did this at my first signing, with three other authors, and ended up spending more than I made even tho the reciprocal theory worked for the most part. But it was in December and the books I bought were gifts - signed gifts, at that - which took care of the bulk of my Christmas shopping. That was last year (2010 depending on when you're reading this).

This year's December signing at the same bookstore - Twice Told Tales in Gloucester, Virginia - featured seven authors, too many for the reciprocal ploy to work without depleting my bank account whether or not I sold any books. I bought one, figuring maybe it might start something that would spill over unto me. It didn't, although I did sell one to a walk-in customer.

Deciding which book to buy was the rub. Cramped for space in the small store, I was positioned on the second-floor landing between two "Jessica Fletchers" who'd already each published several dozen of the kind of mysteries known as "cozies," which are distinguished from "hard boiled" mysteries by their titles, characters and lack of on-page violence. I wasn't in the market for a cozy. One of the other authors among the four on the ground floor was also peddling cozies.

I should note that had any of the three cozy authors bought one or both of my books, I'd have reciprocated. It's the way I roll. But they didn't so I rolled on by. Two of the others had books I'd bought the previous year. This left Sarah Collins Honenberger. I almost rolled on by her, too, as her books looked literary and I rarely buy literary without a proper introduction.
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Format: Paperback
Sarah Collins Honenberger has an amazing skill with first chapters. It was reading the first chapter of "White Lies" online that persuaded me to buy her first book. And the first chapter of "Waltzing Cowboys" has a similar effect.

I've never ridden a horse, nor even really wanted to. Yet Sarah brings me alongside her aging cowboy, Rhue, and I hold my breath, trying to keep silent, as he stretches out his hand to the palomino. I want to feel that soft breath in my own palm, and I keep my eyes almost closed as I read, so as not to disturb her.

There's a theme established in that first chapter and the rest of the novel stays true to it, eventually coming full circle with Rhue re-entering the broken relationship of his past. I hold my breath again.

Rhue's story is interwoven with that of his grown-up son. Rhue's love is seen through the eyes of a fascinating cast of characters, looking back on their own families' pain. And Rhue's quest becomes a journey as full of pitfalls as an old man's stumbling in a crooked pasture.

There were places where the coincidences seemed a little too contrived in this story, but their contrivance contributed to a beautiful picture---New York as wonderful as the Montana plains---and each new event became part of an intricate dance. Full of glorious images and people and phrases, this book was a waltz with my own soul, through the footsteps of another, and I really enjoyed it.
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Format: Paperback
Honenberger writes about individuals between the poles of leaving the pains and mysteries of the past and coming to what they visualize will be a remedial, fortifying future. As in most lives, this involves relationships at either end. Older Rhue Hogan means to leave behind memories of his best friend who died in meeting with his son he never saw upon abandoning his pregnant wife. The 40-year-old son Ford travels to New England to uncover his Puritan roots with a young woman he barely knows. Father and son are filled with neither ennui nor hope. They move on their journeys mainly intuitively, too honest despite holding their disappointments and qualms at a distance to believe they will find completeness or an answer to their unease even if they reach their ends.

The author has a near-perfect pitch for popular fiction. The characters are just different, just marginal enough to be interesting; yet at the same time, just familiar enough for readers to relate to. Dialogue is crisp and informative, occasionally catchy. Narrative is skillfully woven with frequent touches of poetry. The characters, their situations, their emotions, and their behavior are all basically rooted in the world as experienced by ordinary persons.

The popular novel goes does as easily as watching a TV movie. In fact, "Waltzing Cowboys" is such that maybe one day one will see it as a movie.
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Format: Paperback
It's never too late to form something special. "Waltzing Cowboys" tells the story of an old cowboy who begins to understand his own mortality and fix his life's wrongs, starting with the son he never met who lives across the country. A tale filled with interesting characters, "Waltzing Cowboys" is an intriguing read and a drama of humanity.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A very personal touching well written STORY of how life often leaves us with regrets and hope for some meaningful reason for having lived.
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