Claiming Ground : A Memoir

Laura Bell, Author . Knopf $24.95 (241p) ISBN 978-0-307-27288-1

For 22-year-old Bell, the summer of 1977 fulfilled a childhood dream, a time that she narrates in this wonderfully written, if understated, memoir. Living in a remote Wyoming cabin, she spent days perched atop a 16-hand red roan gelding, exploring the harsh, rugged beauty of the Big Horn Basin. That fall she accepted a winter job in the lambing sheds of Whistle Creek Ranch. “I'd gone because I was drawn to this nomadic life of horses and sheep and dogs. I'd gone because I was young and lost and had no idea where else to go. I arrived in the snows of February, twenty degrees below zero, and made my home in a sheep wagon parked under the bare-branched cottonwoods of the Whistle Creek Ranch.” Over the years Bell worked as a sheep herder, cattle hand, forest ranger, outfitter, masseuse, wife, and mother. Bell's extraordinary ability to impart a true sense of place on each page reveals a stark and stunning landscape populated with a playbill of peculiar personalities attracted to a life of solitude and hard physical work, and her life within this remarkable world. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 02/01/2010
Release date: 03/01/2010
Paperback - 241 pages - 978-0-307-47464-3
Ebook - 127 pages - 978-0-307-59289-7
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4618-2541-8
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