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Ride with Me, Mariah Montana

by Ivan Doig

Series: McCaskill Trilogy (3)

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381449,089 (3.6)17
Widower Jick McCaskill, his daughter Mariah, and Mariah's ex-husband Riley take a road trip back and forth across Montana. As Jick recounts his memories of the area, Riley and Mariah fall in and out of love--and Jick unexpectedly discovers a new partner.



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This may be the weakest entry in the McCaskill Trilogy, but it provided closure and some interesting history of the State of Montana. Jick's daughter, Mariah, asks him to drive her and ex-husband Riley Wright around Montana as they work on a series of stories on the 1989 Centennial for Missoula's newspaper. Riley is the writer, while Mariah is the photographer...the scribbler and the shooter. Traveling in a Winnebago as they criss-cross the state leads to some pretty funny stuff such as this description of the close-up of a buffalo before he decides to attack this strange metal beast: "It was news to me that a buffalo appears to be two animals pieced together, the front half of a shaggy ox and the rear of a donkey. There is even what seems like a seam where the hairy front part meets the hairless rear half. But although they are a cockeyed-looking creature--an absentminded family where everybody had put on heavy sweaters but forgot any pants, is the first impression a bunch like this gives--buffalo plainly know what they're on the planet for. Graze. Eat grass and turn it into the bulk of themselves. Protein machines." (23)

Ivan Doig can write humorous scenes, but he really shines when he describes the majestic country. I have never been to Montana; however, it is on my list of places to visit after reading about the mountains, river valleys, golden meadows, and breathtaking sunrises and sunsets. His breezy dialogue between these unlikely fellow sojourners was amusing at first but wore thin after awhile. The outcome seemed too predictable...until everything I thought was going to happen fell apart. This book kept my attention and cleared up some back history of the characters. All in all, an enjoyable read. ( )
1 vote Donna828 | Jul 14, 2013 |
5032. Ride With Me, Mariah Montana, by Ivan Doig (read 9 Jun 2013) This is the third volume of Doig's Montana trilogy and was published in
1990. It devotes much time to Montana's 1989 centennial of statehood. Jick, the central character of the first volume of the trilogy, English Creek. is now 65 and his wife has died and he has to decide what to do with his sheep ranch. He and his daughter, Mariah, together with Mariah's ex-husband, the son of Leona, (who Jick's brother Alec wanted to marry in 1939, resulting in a great rift in the McCaskill family) and after a time, Leona, drive around Montana doing stories about Montana. I found this book considerably less interesting than the first two books of the trilogy, and it could easily be skipped, though it does answer some questions about events in the first book of the trilogy. ( )
  Schmerguls | Jun 9, 2013 |
Characters we've met before as youngsters are now grown-ups in this novel. It's set in 1989 and takes readers along on a complicated trip across Montana. ( )
  Esta1923 | Aug 2, 2012 |
The final installment of Doig's Montana trilogy, Ride with Me is a pale shadow of the previous two books. Stick with English Creek. ( )
  aliciamalia | Feb 19, 2008 |
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...I was determined to give it a name and in, honour of Miss Maria W_________d called it Maria's River. it is true that the hue of the waters of this turbulent and troubled stream but illy comport with the pure celestial virtues and amiable qualifications of that lovely fair one; but on the other hand it is a noble river... -Meriwether Lewies June 8, 1805
To Wallace Stegner one in a century
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Every family is a riddle, or at least any I have heard of. People on the outside can only glimpse enough to make them wonder what in the name of Jesus H. Christ is going on in there behind the doors of their neighbors and friends, while those inside the family have times, sometimes lifetimes, of being baffled with one another. "Can this one really be mine?" parent and child think back and forth, eyeing each other like foreign species. Knots in the bloodline. The oldest story there is and ever the freshest.
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Widower Jick McCaskill, his daughter Mariah, and Mariah's ex-husband Riley take a road trip back and forth across Montana. As Jick recounts his memories of the area, Riley and Mariah fall in and out of love--and Jick unexpectedly discovers a new partner.

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In his novels, English Creek and Dancing at the Rascal Fair, Ivan Doig told the story of the McCaskills, as they staked a claim in the Montana territory and struggled to keep it during the Great Depression. In this triumphant finale, an aging and recently widowed Jick McCaskill faces his family's-and his state's-legacy of loss and perserverance from the vantage point of the 1980's. He does so as the reluctant chauffeur to his daughter, Mariah, and her insufferable ex-husband, Riley, whose newspaper has dispatched them to dig up stories of the "real Montana" on the eve of its centenial. And there are stories aplenty in this multigeneraltional road novel, which interweaves Jick's memories of his past with Mariah and Riley's strife torn second courtship, and with a haunting vision of a frontier where buffalo have givben way to Winnebago's, and ranchers to corporate raiders.
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