Tuesday, March 20, 2012
A Reader's Opinion: The Ranch Next Door and Other Stories by Elisabeth Grace Foley
A collection of Western short stories that go beyond the standard action and adventure of the genre to focus on character and conflict. In the award-winning "Disturbing the Peace," honorable mention in the 2010 Rope and Wire short story competition, a sheriff experiences a revelation about himself and his relationship with the people of his town, while in "The Outlaw's Wife," a country doctor worries that his young friend is falling for a married woman whose husband is rumored to be a wanted criminal. From the suspenseful "Cross My Heart" to the comedic romp of "A Rangeland Renaissance," to a Western twist on star-crossed romance in the title story, "The Ranch Next Door," these stories will appeal to a variety of readers, as well as established fans of the traditional Western.
A Reader's Opinion
I'm going to introduce a disclaimer right out the gate: Short stories are not my usual cream and butter. In fact, I tend to avoid short works simply because I prefer a book where I can really connect with the characters and enjoy an established storyline, which unfortunately I have never found in a short story.
Having said that, where short stories are concerned, The Ranch Next Door is a pretty enjoyable collection of western tales. Now these aren't typical westerns, so you won't find men and women seeking revenge on those 'who done them wrong', but you will enjoy a little romance and likeable characters. Of the seven stories, my favorite would have to be The Outlaw's Wife as I enjoyed the characters in that one a bit more, including the supporting characters, and it had a little twist at the end. You'll also notice how clean these stories are, which is a rare find. I also felt that the author seemed to genuinely enjoy the writing.
If you're looking for a typical western, then this book may not be for you, but I would recommend this quick and likeable read to anyone who enjoys short stories, especially western-style short stories. I feel it's an appropriate book for all audiences.
Find the Book:
Formats: Paperback and ebook
Pub Date: 15 Mar 2012 (paperback)
My Content Rating: G
Source: Purchased the book.
Labels: Western Fiction Book Review