Claiming Ground by Laura Bell

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 4 Critic Reviews

unrated

Synopsis

In 1977, Laura Bell, at loose ends after graduating from college, leaves her family home in Kentucky for a wild and unexpected adventure: herding sheep in Wyoming’s Big Horn Basin. Inexorably drawn to this life of solitude and physical toil, a young woman in a man’s world, she is perhaps the strangest member of this beguiling community of drunks and eccentrics. So begins her unabating search for a place to belong and for the raw materials with which to create a home and family of her own. Yet only through time and distance does she acquire the wisdom that allows her to see the love she lived through and sometimes left behind.

By turns cattle rancher, forest ranger, outfitter, masseuse, wife and mother, Bell vividly recounts her struggle to find solid earth in which to put down roots. Brimming with careful insight and written in a spare, radiant prose, her story is a heart-wrenching ode to the rough, enormous beauty of the Western landscape and the peculiar sweetness of hard labor, to finding oneself even in isolation, to a life formed by nature, and to the redemption of love, whether given or received.

Quietly profound and moving, astonishing in its honesty, in its deep familiarity with country rarely seen so clearly, and in beauties all its own, Claiming Ground is a truly singular memoir.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Laura Bell

See more books from this Author
Laura Bell's work has been published in several collections, and from the Wyoming Arts Council she has received two literature fellowships as well as the Neltje Blanchan Memorial Award and the Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Award. She lives in Cody, Wyoming, and since 2000 has worked there for the Nature Conservancy.
 
Published March 2, 2010 by Vintage. 258 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Science & Math. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Claiming Ground

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

She was fresh out of college, clueless but lucky to stumble into these parts, and she found herself a young woman among old male sheepherders—“tender alcoholics, muttering derelicts, societal rejects, and I had found a certain delicious comfort in their company.” When she could get it, that is, f...

Jan 01 2010 | Read Full Review of Claiming Ground

Star Tribune

See more reviews from this publication

A luminous memoir, capturing American lives built of equal parts hard physical labor and solitude.

Apr 24 2010 | Read Full Review of Claiming Ground

Christian Science Monitor

Ever since the age of Ovid and Homer, the popular idea that humans can become transformed merely by changing the physical terrain around them has been a standard in literature.

Jul 14 2010 | Read Full Review of Claiming Ground

Bookmarks Magazine

Brimming with careful insight and written in a spare, radiant prose, her story is a heart-wrenching ode to the rough, enormous beauty of the Western landscape and the peculiar sweetness of hard labor, to finding oneself even in isolation, to a life formed by nature, and to the redemption of love,...

Apr 11 2010 | Read Full Review of Claiming Ground

Reader Rating for Claiming Ground
82%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 35 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×