The Last Cowboys of San Geronimo

The Last Cowboys of San Geronimo

Book - 2017
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"A contemporary Western debut about two brothers locked in a deadly feud, a woman on horseback trailing her husband's killer, and the inescapable ties of home and family. When Silas Van Loy flees home on horseback to avoid capture for his brother's murder, he is soon followed by both the police and his brother's wife, Lena, who is intent on exacting revenge. She reluctantly lets her trusted stable assistant join her in a journey across the wilds of Northern California in the hopes of catching Silas for one final showdown. Stansel follows the chase and shares the story of the brothers' rise from hardscrabble childhood to their reign as the region's preeminent horse trainers, tracking the tense sibling rivalry that ultimately leads to the elder's death. A fully realized tale that challenges notions of the modern West, The Last Cowboys of San Geronimo will satisfy fans of Kent Haruf, Larry McMurtry, Molly Gloss, and Smith Henderson, and establish Stansel as a new voice in this grand tradition"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Boston :, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt,, 2017
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780544963399
Characteristics: 192 pages ; 22 cm


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Dec 16, 2017

I really, really enjoyed reading this book. Two men and two women are great, memorable characters . . . and their horses are also pretty nifty.
Very well written.

The Last Cowboys of San Geronimo, by Ian Stansel. This may well be the very best book I’ve read in 2017. It’s the author’s first book, he’s a graduate with an M.F.A. from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, and teaches at the University of Louisville. It’s a western, a manhunt for a murderer, the hunter being the wife of the murdered man, and the hunted being her brother-in-law, and the hunt is mostly on horseback through the parched hills of Marin County, California and the edges of the Mendocino Forest, both of which have been on fire this year. So, it’s Cain and Abel in a story of a family feud with Biblical overtones. A story of a marriage of a man and a woman, each with strong personalities. Frank and Silas inherited a horse ranch from their father, who died painfully of lung cancer, nursed by Frank’s wife, Lena. The boys went after the Marin County horse-gentry and built an equestrian riding academy with stables for rent, and instruction for the progeny of the wealthy. There’s fox hunting to be had in those hills. You meet some great horses, too. There’s a lot of depth and complexity packed into 192 pages, and it’s very well packed so it’s an easy –– can’t put it down –– book, likely to appeal as much to men as to women.

Jul 30, 2017

Not quite what I was expecting. Was hoping for more of an outdoor adventure and horse chase. Ended up being more about the brothers' backstory and feud. Kind of a depressing story but short enough that I didn't have to linger in the muck of it for long.


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