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Arbuckle is the third book in a series Rowland set in the southeastern corner of Montana. Actually, it is the first book if you look at the action across the series chronologically. It is a beautifully told story of a family working to make a go of it in a hard country. The characters are likeable people who are drawn in exceptional depth. The presentation of their relationships and the conflicts among characters is particularly insightful.
Reading Arbuckle took me about the amount of time many of my friends spent watching the Super Bowl. Although it is 348 pages, this book is a page-turner and I found I did not want to put it down.
If you have read either of the other books in the series (In Open Spaces, and The Watershed Years) I recommend you pick up this one. This book is self-published so we may not always have a copy in stock at This House of Books. Come in and order it.
I recall reading the first book in the series, In Open Spaces, with good interest. I had lived and worked near where the novel was set. I worked in several small school districts in the northern part of Carter County and even took a hand in raising a little livestock in the area. I know from experience that the sense Rowland gives of the geography is absolutely authentic. Furthermore, The Arbuckle ranch was a little south of where I worked. The main characters in Arbuckle, Catherine Boland and George Arbuckle, were Rowland’s great-grandparents. The story Rowland tells, though, is a work of fiction.