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


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Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
A very well done story that seems much larger than the couple of hours it took me to read. This story calls to mind The Thornbirds and We Were The Mulvaneys, and in a good way. Some events effect an entire family as much as the family members directly involved in a situation. While it would be nice to read about GOOD THINGS accomplishing this, it was still nice to read another sad story about a family changed forever by a moment.

This book adds another silly, melodramatic exclamation to my vernacular, the second this week. "Don't blame Montana!" Combined with "Kung Fu Treachery" from Black Dynamite, I'm having quite the week! ( )
  drhapgood | Jul 27, 2014 |
This novella is packed with complexities. It is a coming-of-age tale about the importance of integrity and how much courage it sometimes takes to exercise it in the face of family and societal pressures. It is an excellent book to use for book clubs because there are so many things to discuss, especially how society has or has not changed so many of its beliefs and how they shape us all. ( )
  whymaggiemay | May 28, 2014 |
Highly recommended to me by my high schooler, this story is a disturbing statement about how racial prejudice can permeate small-town America, where no individual with enough social power, is willing to believe what is happening among them. ( )
  Conkie | Feb 9, 2014 |

I couldn't put this down, I read most of it in a single sitting. ( )
  dtn620 | Sep 22, 2013 |
In Montana 1948 by Larry Watson, our narrator looks back 40 years on life-changing events that occurred when he was 12 and growing up in northeast Montana in the summer of 1948. A young Indian woman from the reservation is the family's housekeeper and David's babysitter. She contracts pneumonia and is wildly afraid to see the local white doctor, Frank Hayden. Frank is the brother of David's father Wesley. Wesley is the town sheriff, and the young woman's concerns force him to investigate his doctor brother. What transpires changes 12 year old David's views of himself and his family and adults in general, as he learns that some he has idolized have clay feet, and others are not what he thought. The questions raised may cause permanent fissures in the tight family and community he has innocently enjoyed his whole brief life.

This short book is written in simple, eloquent prose, and packs quite a punch. It belongs up on the shelf with your Norman MacLean and Kent Haruf books. Thanks to Mark for pushing me to read it. ( )
1 vote jnwelch | Sep 9, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 41 (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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:59:05 -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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