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'MONTANA, 1948' by LARRY WATSON
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'MONTANA, 1948' (original 1993; edition 1996)

by LARRY WATSON

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1,094557,599 (3.86)294
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» See also 294 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 55 (next | show all)
What a great little book! "Little" because it's only 169 pages. But it packs an awful lot of drama and emotion into those 169 pages. And it strikes a chord right off the bat - here is a man, some 30+ years later, recalling a remarkable summer when he was 12 years old. Seems to be a point in a lifetime for many of us that is rich with memories and milestones as we began to break out of our childhood cocoons.

The boy lives with Mom and Dad in a small dusty, wind-blown town in the northeastern part of the state. Dad's the town sheriff, there's one deputy, Len, who lives next door. There are also lots of Native Americans, one of whom lives in with the family, a young woman who is companion to the boy (he later learns much to his shock and chagrin that she is in truth, The Babysitter, as Mom works at the Courthouse across the street). Grand-dad lives out of town with lots of money and lots of influence. Dad's brother is Dr. Frank, a WWll hero, and the favored son.

Then something happens. And all kind of issues are raised, dealing with duty, doing the right thing, and family loyalty. It seems like there is an awful lot packed into such few pages. The ending is well done and fitting.

A personal note - if there is a subplot here, it deals with guns, and the extent to which guns were a part of every day life in Montana in 1948. Wherever you may stand on the issue of guns and gun controls, you might find this theme to be of some interest, particularly if you are a city bred, east of the Mississippi cowboy like me.

This is an excellent story and I will read more Larry Watson. "Laura", his second book, will be next for me. I tumbled onto him after reading a review the other day for his latest book, "As Good as Gone", his 9th. I will be reading it soon also. ( )
  maneekuhi | Apr 13, 2016 |
Family Truth - Brother w/ Indians very moving — true?

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.
  christinejoseph | Feb 29, 2016 |
Excellent. Powerful use of words. He can convey SO much in a little volume.

The Hayden brothers, Frank (a doctor) and Wesley (an attorney and sheriff) live in the shadow of their larger-than-life father, Julian. Wes is sheriff - a position inherited from his dad. When Wes's family helper, Marie Tall Feather, gets ill he calls on his brother to make a house call. But Marie's panic brings out a truth that sets the Haydens (and the town) on a path they would rather not be on but MUST follow.

The book reminds me of [To Kill a Mockingbird].

Book club # 1 read in Feb 2005; Book club # 2 chose it for July 2005 and invited the author to join us. What a treat! ( )
  BookConcierge | Feb 11, 2016 |
Well written and thought provoking. ( )
  deldevries | Jan 31, 2016 |
From David Hayden's life :
"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… “

So begins David's story of what happened in Montana in summer, 1948.

Expect the story to be "crisp and clear" and definitely hold your interest.

4★ ( )
  pennsylady | Jan 31, 2016 |
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» Add other authors

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 . . . .
Quotations
. . . 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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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.
Haiku summary

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)

» see all 6 descriptions

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