Western Heritage Awards Wrangler Winner, Western Novel, 2023
At age seventeen, Tam Bowen left her Montana home in disgrace after giving birth to a son out of wedlock. After working her way through college, she settled in Portland, Oregon, where she began making a living for herself and her son by writing soft-porn romance novels. Now, at fifty, Tam is estranged from her son and deeply depressed. She has returned to the cabin in Montana’s Big Snowy Mountains where she grew up, to ponder the choices she has made in her life. At first dismayed by the many changes she finds in the mountain community, Tam gradually makes a few friends and becomes increasingly involved in the lives of two troubled teenagers, who draw her back into the horsemanship she turned away from so many years ago. For Tam, horses provide a sense of stability amid the uncertainty of her new-old life and expose the vulnerability of all the folks who struggle with the vagaries of a tough place.