Wind Water

Jeanne Williams, Author St. Martin's Press $23.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-312-14765-5
For a 19-year-old woman on the Great Plains in 1889, Julie McCloud has a wonderful life. Part of a building crew run by her adoptive father, Cap, she's never attended school or owned a dress. She enjoys her itinerant job, traveling around and erecting windmills for settlers. But Julie grows up fast when Cap and his crew stumble into a battle in the No Man's Land of the Oklahoma panhandle, where powerful rancher Jess Chandless is trying to muscle out a small group of homesteaders determined to hang on until the government legitimizes their claims. No Man's Land has no government or law enforcement, and disputes are settled by diplomacy or guns. After Chandless's vicious foreman kills Cap, a heartbroken Julie vows to continue their work and teams up with the well-digging team of Trace Riordan and Cibolo Martin. Willing to accept merely the promise of payment from cash-poor homesteaders, they race to build wells, windmills and fences to solidify the area against Chandless. Once a gypsy, Julie is drawn into the life of the small community and finds--after a life among men--much to admire in the female settlers. Williams (Home Station, etc.) re-creates the period, the conditions and the details of building windmills with accuracy and skill. Winner of four Golden Spur Awards, she once again fashions a sturdy western. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/31/1997
Release date: 04/01/1997
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 324 pages - 978-0-595-09585-8
Hardcover - 522 pages - 978-0-7862-1379-5
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