cover image The Meadow

The Meadow

James Galvin. Henry Holt & Company, $19.95 (230pp) ISBN 978-0-8050-1684-0

These ragged sketches of ranch life along the Wyoming-Colorado border depict Galvin's neighbors--hardscrabble folk--in wry, stoic stories of skill, survival and loss that flash back and forth across 100 years of the high meadow's history. The author's ( Imaginary Timber ) style of lyrical reserve is sufficient to preserve Lyle, Ray, Clara and Appleton in prose amber, but he is too respectful of Lyle to press him on why his sister Clara left the ranch and blew her brains out. The prose soars only in descriptions of weather in the meadow, of Lyle's ax work and Ray's machinery. Still, there is spare beauty here, and readers of Richard Ford, Jim Harrison and Rick Bass will feel at home in Galvin's country. (Apr.)