You Can't Push a Rope by Clint Trafton

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Joaquin Peralta is fighting to get the family land back. Twenty-thousand acres in New Mexico, stolen by gringo politicians, ranchers, speculators, and the United States Government. Hiring lawyers, going to meetings, burning barns, cutting fences, whatever might work. In 1965, Joaquin marries Bonita, a beautiful Hispanic widow and adopts her half-Anglo teenage son, Chava. It soon becomes apparent that Chava isn't chicano enough to suit Joaquin. He isn't tough enough, doesn't fit in with the Peraltas, doesn't get fired up over the land-grant fight. He can't even speak Spanish.

In June of 1967, Joaquin takes part in a historic courthouse "raid" and shootout in a small northern New Mexico town. Reies Tijerina, leader of the raiders, is vaulted into national prominence in the Hispanic civil rights movement, even though Tijerina, Joaquin, and several other raiders are arrested and imprisoned. Bonita then must take work as a domestic to make ends meet and Chava blames Joaquin. Who needs this fight over ancient land grants anyway?

Conflict between the two men escalates when Chava falls in love and marries Ellie Carter, whose family has innocently settled on contested land-grant soil and is being drawn into the fight. Ironically, Chava's new life as a member of the Carter family leads him to better understand the love of land, culture, and family that drives Joaquin to seek justice, however long delayed. When Chava stops an attempted rape of Bonita by racist Anglos bent on revenge against the Peraltas, he finally gains Joaquin's respect and hope of reconciliation.

About Clint Trafton

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Romance author Jayne Ann Krentz was born in Borrego Springs, California on March 28, 1948. She received a B.A. in history from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a Masters degree in library science from San Jose State University. Before becoming a full-time author, she worked as a librarian. Her novels include: Truth or Dare, All Night Long, and Copper Beach. She has written under seven different names: Jayne Bentley, Amanda Glass, Stephanie James, Jayne Taylor, Jayne Castle, Amanda Quick and Jayne Ann Krentz. Her first book, Gentle Pirate, was published in 1980 under the name Jayne Castle. She currently uses only three personas to represent her three specialties. She uses the name Jayne Ann Krentz for her contemporary pieces, Amanda Quick for her historical fiction pieces, and Jayne Castle for her futuristic pieces. She has received numerous awards for her work including the 1995 Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award for Trust Me, the 2004 Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award for Falling Awake, the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award, the Romantic Times Jane Austen Award, and the Susan Koppelman Award for Feminist Studies for Dangerous Men and Adventurous Women: Romance Writers on the Appeal of the Romance.
Published May 30, 2000 by Trafford Publishing. 316 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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At times, however, the book reads like a newspaper article dutifully reporting all the facts, rather than inevitabilities that should spin out from the motivations and psyches of the characters.

Aug 17 2012 | Read Full Review of You Can't Push a Rope

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