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Liberating Sky by Susan Spence

Liberating Sky

by Susan Spence

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This is the story of young Sky (Skylark) Daly, a young woman living on a ranch in Montana at the height of the cultural revolution we call the Hippie Movement. It was a time of massive change in this country - for young people, for people of color and especially for women. But not in rural areas. (Living in a rural area of Montana I'm not sure it has gotten here yet.) Sky wants nothing more than to work on the ranch her family has owned for generations. She is the first born but she is not the first born male. She idolizes her father, hates her mother and reveres a great grandfather she knows only through family tales. She has a PLAN and it's going to keep her ranching until it doesn't - then what?

The book follows Sky as she goes to California to try and track down and old boyfriend. She meets a group of "long hairs" there but fails to bring her friend back. She storms home and then manages to storm through life rarely stopping to think about anything or anyone but herself. She hates her mother - never gives a thought to anything her mother might be feeling and all that is wrong in Sky's life is everyone's fault but Sky's. Her father is her idol until he proves he is just a man and yet it's still her mother's fault - not his. Her mother's reaction to a tragedy is bizarre to say the least and the book devolves from there.

None of the characters are particularly likable, the plot rambles along and yet for some reason I kept reading to find out what happens. Sky and her boyfriend/lover Will research her family history and don't learn much. The bad guys come, the bad guys go. Sky never really changed or matured. I really can't figure out what compelled me to keep reading; aggravation? Annoyance? Wanting to see Sky grow? I don't know. ( )
  BrokenTeepee | Oct 25, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0985127953, Paperback)

Growing up in Montana, Sky Daly’s life is close to perfect. Living on the D, the cattle ranch started by her ancestors in the 1880s, she has almost all she could ever want. Her only cause for discontent is her mother, Ursula, who seems determined to make her life miserable. Once she graduates from high school everything changes. There is no longer a place for her on the ranch. Traditionally girls marry and leave to begin new lives elsewhere. It doesn’t matter that she is the only Daly child who wants to continue the ranching tradition. There is only one way she can see to keep ranching and that includes a trip to California to find the person she thinks can save her. It is 1968, the height of the hippy movement and when she arrives, she finds herself in the middle of the revolution, surrounded by young people protesting the societal structures she wishes to preserve. The experience changes her life, not only because of the radical thinking she is exposed to, but also because of one particular man she meets. Will Daniels follows her to Montana. She doesn’t want the hippy around as she’s afraid he’ll get in the way. Plus, she doesn’t think he will ever fit into her rural lifestyle. She finally gives in to his persistent attention, but continuously reminds herself that he is simply a diversion until her plan comes together. When tragedy, caused by the lies her parents have been living, tears the Daly family apart, Sky is forced to leave the D and she flees Montana. She moves around from one job to the next, trying to find a new life for herself, but is continuously disappointed as she realizes that being a woman doesn’t give her the same opportunity a man would have. Eventually she forgets about not only her former life, but her dreams as well and settles into a life without expectation or hope. While waiting tables down in New Mexico, she receives news of a murder that once again turns her life upside down. Returning to Montana, she takes over the ranch, but instead of the idyllic situation she envisioned, the survival of the D is threatened. While she and Will are researching her great grandfather’s life, she finds out that, although under different circumstances, he was also forced off the D and out of Montana. She discovers the lengths he went to in defending the D. Back in his day, it was cattle rustlers and others attempting to destroy his livelihood and take his land. The threats Sky faces are different but just as deadly. She realizes that, like her great grandfather, she will do whatever it takes to save the family ranch. Whatever it takes.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:59 -0400)

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