Hardcover sale price: $11.95 (Regularly $24.95)
Softcover sale price: $8.00 (Regularly $16.95)
Set in the Big Sky country of Montana, staring a sensitive boy, a rambunctious grandfather, and a cast of Western characters that includes unreformed Indians, hucksters, and dudes, this sprawling, exuberant page-turner marks the debut of Jake Mosher, who writes about the West, its history, its people, and its scenery with the skill and assurance of a born storyteller, the finesse of a born raconteur.
The story revolves around reticent but articulate young Kyle who, on his fourteenth birthday, is given bus tickets to spend the summer in his father’s native state and is remanded to the not-so-tender care of Cole, his outrageous grandfather. Cole, a throwback to the Old West, appears to be waging a one-man war on a whole range of fools in a state where some folks take Norman MacLean literally. As Cole discovers, the twentieth century is fast encroaching on a world where no one ever tells anyone what to do. But the focus of his outrage and ill temper is Bruce Tipton, a smooth developer who is determined to introduce a fenced park for “wild buffalo” right next to his home. Tipton’s chicanery and venality find their match, and more, in Cole’s stubbornness.
This is a novel painted with a broad brush, incorporating a journal Kyle finds of his great-grandfather’s trek from Kansas City to the Montana Territory in 1862 that brings to vivid life the early days of its settlement. It contains a cast of unforgettably vivid characters, convincing and larger than life, while always retaining the laconic voice of a boy whose droll wit and wry narration make us realize that, without any question, we are in the hands of a master storyteller. And that this is one summer that will be as fondly and brightly remembered by you, the reader, as by the young narrator, Kyle.