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'MONTANA, 1948' (original 1993; edition 1996)


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1,067497,843 (3.84)286
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» See also 286 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 49 (next | show all)
Great short read. ( )
  bonnieconnelly | Oct 11, 2015 |
Well-written story that prompts thinking about important issues (justice) in a deep way. Simple, unobtrusive writing. Excellent all-around. ( )
  Joe24 | Jun 12, 2015 |
As perfect as a small, self contained recounting of a horrible injustice and its impact on a small town could be. At 169 pages, there are no extra words but an overwhelming knowledge of the feelings of most of the families involved. "Most" is a flaw.

Young David's family is the law in Bentrock, Montana. His father and grandfather have been the sheriffs for generations. His uncle is the town doctor. There are Sioux residents in town whose lives intersect rarely with the whites. Marie Little Soldier is David's companion and the housekeeper. When Marie falls ill, she refuses to allow David's uncle Frank to examine her. When she confesses her fears to David's mother Gail, everyone is impacted and ruined and lives end.

The narrative is David's, but we also hear the internal thoughts of his mother and father. Notably missing is Marie Little Soldier's brave voice.

But this is still a very strong and simple work of brilliance. ( )
  froxgirl | Feb 5, 2015 |
A spare novella, narrated by the twelve-year-old son of the sheriff of a fictional Mercer County in northeastern Montana. The sheriff's brother is a prominent doctor in the town, who it turns out molests Indian girls in the course of 'treating' them.. Despite the effort of the father (himself sheriff before his son became such) of the doctor and the sheriff to prevent justice being dealt to the doctor, the sheriff decides that he must arrest his brother. The story is told in pristine prose and holds one's rapt attention right up to its poignant denouement. ( )
  Schmerguls | Jan 20, 2015 |
This beautifully written novel tells the story of a year in the life of a Montana sheriff's family that would forever change their life and their relationships with their own family. The story is told through the eyes of the sheriff's son as he remembers events later in life. The topic dealt with in this novel is not an easy one, but Watson successfully relates the story to his readers and keeps them interested in it. The reader could almost feel the situation in which the sheriff found himself -- between a rock and a hard place. The novel is not overly long, but the author's care in choosing the right words makes the story the right length. Highly recommended; one of the best reads of the year for me. ( )
1 vote thornton37814 | Dec 18, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 49 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Larry Watsonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bridges, BeauReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Helmond, Joop vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Huddle, DavidAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Péguillan, BertrandTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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From the summer of my twelfth year I carry a series of images more vivid and lasting than any others of my boyhood and indelible beyond all attempts the years make to erase or fade them . . . .
. . . I realized that these strange, unthought-of connections -- sex and death, lust and violence, desire and degradation -- are there, there, deep in even a good heart’s chambers. (p. 82)
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Book description
A young Sioux woman tossing with fever on a cot; a father begging his wife for help; a mother standing uncertainly in her kitchen with a 12-gauge shotgun: from these fragments of memory, evoked by the narrator as the novel opens, Watson builds a simple but powerful tale. It is Montana in 1948, and young David Hayden's father, Wesley, is sheriff of their small town--a position he inherited from his domineering father. Wesley is overshadowed by his older brother, Frank, a war hero who is now the town doctor. When Marie, the Sioux woman who works for the Haydens, fall ill, she adamantly resists being examined by Frank. Some probing reveals that Frank has been molesting the Indian women in his care. Wesley's dilemma--should he turn in his own brother?--is intensified when Marie is found dead and David confesses that he saw his uncle near the house before she died.
Montana, 1948; and the events of one cataclysmic summer will for ever alter twelve-year-old David Hayden's view of his family. His father, a small-town sheriff; his remarkably strong-willed mother; his uncle, a war hero and respected doctor; and the family's Sioux house-keeper, Marie Little Soldier, whose shocking revelations form the heart of the story.

As their memories unravel before young David's eyes, he comes to learn that the truth is not what you believe it to be. That power is abused. And sometimes you have to choose between loyalty and justice....

Brilliantly evoking both time and place, Larry Watson recounts David's age-old tale childhood lost and adulthood gained.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0671507036, Paperback)

The events of that small-town summer forever alter David Hayden's view of his family: his self-effacing father, a sheriff who never wears his badge; his clear sighted mother; his uncle, a charming war hero and respected doctor; and the Hayden's lively, statuesque Sioux housekeeper, Marie Little Soldier, whose revelations are at the heart of the story. It is a tale of love and courage, of power abused, and of the terrible choice between family loyalty and justice.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:38 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

A series of events in a small western town changes the lives of David Hayden, his sheriff father, his mother, and their Sioux housekeeper, as they discover the truth about family loyalty.

(summary from another edition)

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