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Feels Like Far:  A Rancher's Life on the Great Plains

Feels Like Far: A Rancher's Life on the Great Plains
Linda Hasselstrom
New York: The Lyons Press, 1999
F656.4 .H37 1999

In this beautifully written and powerful book, Linda Hasselstrom embarks on a voyage of self-discovery and, along the way, paints an intimate portrait of family, love, ranching, community, and survival on the Great Plains. It is a story as dramatic and breathtaking as the fierce storms that rip across her ranch.

Feels Like Far chronicles one woman's life on the grasslands of western South Dakota. Here, against the backdrop of the far-flung prairie and the rolling Black Hills, Hasselstrom struggles to balance the demands of the family and the ranch with a yearning for something more. In sixteen intimate, interconnected stories she writes about the joys of training her first horse, the struggle of coming to terms with the sudden death of her beloved husband, the comfort she finds in an old friend, and the frustration of watching her father's refusal of help, even as he loses his ability to care for his wife. We come to understand the beauty of nighthawks cavorting above the storm-lashed fields, the drama of witnessing a badger dig deep into the earth, and the heartbreak of discovering a fatally injured farm animal. Even more compelling are the women who supply her with inspiration and strength - a spirited aunt who refuses to succumb to any notion of "the weaker sex," fellow artists who join in a day of branding, and a dear friend who, upon finding that she is HIV positive, proceeds to battle the debilitating illness as well as the community's fears.

With rare grace and simplicity, Hasselstrom evokes a sense of people and their place that illuminates the Plains character in a truly magnificent book.

Quoted from dust jacket.