Rosie’s#Bookreview of #Contemporary #Fiction WILD HORSES ON THE SALT by Anne Montgomery

Wild Horses on the SaltWild Horses on the Salt by Anne Montgomery

3.5 stars

Wild Horses On The Salt is contemporary fiction which has several themes running through it. One is domestic violence and another is the plight of wild horses, especially those in Arizona.

Becca has run away from her violent husband and her life as a lawyer in New Jersey. She has come to the home of friends who run an inn in Arizona. Life in the desert is very different from where she was brought up and it gives Becca time to recover and to think about what she really wants in life.

With the support of Gaby and Walt who run the inn, Becca is introduced to their friends and community. She befriends their neighbour Noah and a romance between the couple forms. Becca is also taught about the local wild horses and how they are being threatened by man’s greed for more space. While smaller sub-themes involve Becca learning about the flora and fauna of Arizona, both natural and invasive as well as recycling and caring for the environment.

In addition to Becca’s story, there are chapters from the point of view of some of the animals, particularly a wild horse which was injured in a road accident. There really is a lot going on in this book and for me it watered down the tension and the importance of the two main themes, while the romance between Becca and Noah came across as rather rushed, considering her husband’s presence.

I was drawn to this story by the Arizona setting and the wild horse theme, but it didn’t hold my attention as much as I had hoped.

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Book description

A woman flees an abusive husband and finds hope in the wilds of the Arizona desert.

Rebecca Quinn escapes her controlling husband and, with nowhere else to go, hops the red-eye to Arizona. There, Gaby Strand – her aunt’s college roommate – gives her shelter at the Salt River Inn, a 1930’s guesthouse located in the wildly beautiful Tonto National Forest.

Becca struggles with post-traumatic stress, but is enthralled by the splendor and fragility of the Sonoran Desert. The once aspiring artist meets Noah Tanner, a cattle rancher and beekeeper, Oscar Billingsley, a retired psychiatrist and avid birder, and a blacksmith named Walt. Thanks to her new friends and a small band of wild horses, Becca adjusts to life in the desert and rekindles her love of art.

Then, Becca’s husband tracks her down, forcing her to summon all her strength. But can she finally stop running away?

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52662498

My #Bookreview of historical #western #romance Call Of The Canyon by Zane Grey

The Call of the CanyonThe Call of the Canyon by Zane Grey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Call Of The Canyon is a western set in the 1920s.

Glenn Kilbourne returned from WW1 to America, a broken man both physically and emotionally. His determination to return home to his fiancé, New York socialite Carley Burch, gave him strength during the darker times of war. Yet he found that the country he had fought for did little for its returning soldiers, and the life he lived before the war no longer appealed to him.

Glenn set out for the West; he needed time to heal. He went to Oak Creek, Arizona where he almost died from the long-term effects of the war. But, slowly, the peace and care of the Hutter family helped him recover. For four years Glenn stayed away; although he wrote to Carley, she began to suspect she was losing him, so she headed west to fetch him back. But she too discovered the magic and beauty of the Arizona land.

I read about this book in another one called Trusting The Currents. It intrigued me and when I found a free copy I downloaded it immediately. Parts of Arizona, particularly around Sedona, are said to be filled with strong cosmic forces conducive to healing and spiritual experiences. The author’s story of Glenn and Carley highlighted the effect the land can have on people. The tantalising descriptions of the vast ancient landscape, including mountains, canyons, gullies, desserts, and old volcanoes, definitely called to me.

Written and set almost one hundred years ago, the storyline may be seen as simplistic, the terminology occasionally harsh to modern ears, but that’s the delight in reading a book like this. I was also pleased that I felt akin to Addie Mae from Trusting The Currents, now that I’ve read a book which inspired her to travel and follow in Glenn and Carley’s footsteps.

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“What subtle strange message had come to her out of the West? Carley Burch laid the letter in her lap and gazed dreamily through the window. It was a day typical of early April in New York, rather cold and gray, with steely sunlight. Spring breathed in the air, but the women passing along Fifty-seventh Street wore furs and wraps. She heard the distant clatter of an L train and then the hum of a motor car. A hurdy-gurdy jarred into the interval of quiet.” – Zane Grey, “The Call of the Canyon”

About the author

Zane Grey (1872-1939) was an American author best known for his popular adventure novels and stories that were a basis for the Western genre in literature and the arts. With his veracity and emotional intensity, he connected with millions of readers worldwide, during peacetime and war, and inspired many Western writers who followed him. Grey was a major force in shaping the myths of the Old West; his books and stories were adapted into other media, such as film and TV productions. He was the author of more than 90 books, some published posthumously and/or based on serials originally published in magazines.

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