Book picks similar to
The Last Ranch by Michael McGarrity


historical-fiction
fiction
western
family

Come Again No More


Jack Todd - 2010
    THE PAINT FAMILY built an American empire on the legendary strength of their character, their wit, and their resolve, but the foreclosures, bank failures, and joblessness of the Great Depression may bring their world down around them. The family’s foundation is further weakened by a rift running through two generations, scarred over by stubbornness and pain. Come Again No More is a uniquely American story about a family navigating a changing world and the tough choices it presents. The indomitable family patriarch, Eli, owns everything as far as the eye can see, but there is an emptiness in his heart. After a dramatic accident leaves him struggling for life, he must reckon with the decisions he made that separated him from the daughter he loved most. A chance for redemption presents itself in his granddaughter Emaline. Eli has faced his own mortality many times, but his pride seems to have a death grip on him. Emaline marries Jake, a womanizing prizefighter who promises to help her realize her dream of making a life on a farm. But Jake’s inner demons and nature itself conspire against Emaline’s fierce determination to make their marriage work. Life sends Emaline many joys when she least expects them, but ultimately, she must make tough decisions about holding on and letting go. Based on the author’s family letters and diaries, Come Again No More is a bittersweet novel, a moving and vivid portrayal of a family’s triumphs and tragedies paralleling the glories and shameful underbelly of a nation struggling through the Great Depression.

The Borderland


Edwin Shrake - 2000
    Set in the blossoming frontier town of Austin, The Borderland focuses on the lives of Romulus and Cullasaja Swift, the half-Cherokee offspring of two forward-thinking parents who have come to Texas from New York; of Henry Longfellow, a rapacious lawyer; and of Captain Matthew Caldwell, a Texas Ranger whose eccentric ways are matched only by his fierce bravery.

Leaving Whiskey Bend


Dorothy Garlock - 2008
    The final straw comes when they witness their friend Mary being assaulted in the street & no one steps forward to help her.

The Lion in the Lei Shop


Kaye Starbird - 1970
    With her mother, April, and hundreds of other women and children, Marty is evacuated from the ruins of Pearl Harbor and sent into a brave new world overshadowed by uncertainty and grief. Feeling abandoned by her deployed Army officer father in the wake of the attack, Marty is haunted by nightmares of the lion in the lei shop, a creature that’s said to devour happy children. But as the years pass, mother and daughter slowly begin to embrace their new life and make peace with the pain of the past. Spanning the tumultuous war years, The Lion in the Lei Shop deftly recaptures a dramatic chapter of American history.Originally published in 1970 and reissued for a new generation of readers as part of renowned librarian Nancy Pearl’s Book Lust Rediscoveries series, this lyrical novel gives a rarely heard voice to the women and children of Pearl Harbor.

The Raven's Bride: A Novel of Eliza Allen and Sam Houston


Elizabeth Crook - 1991
    The ensuing scandal caused Houston to resign his office in disgrace, leave Tennessee to live with the Cherokees in Arkansas, and eventually to go to Texas and mold its history.

The House on Salt Hay Road


Carin Clevidence - 2010
    A fireworks factory explodes in a quiet coastal town. In the house on Salt Hay Road, Clay Poole is thrilled by the hole it's blown in everyday life. His older sister, Nancy, is more interested in the striking stranger who appears, dusted with ashes, in the explosion's aftermath. The Pooles—taken in as orphans by their mother's family—can't yet know how the bonds of their makeshift household will be tested and frayed. A vivid and emotionally resonant debut, The House on Salt Hay Road captures the golden light of a vanished time, and the hold that home has on us long after we leave it.

Far Away Home


Susan Denning - 2011
    Some might think this is a problem; Aislynn believes it s an opportunity, but she has a lot to learn. No formulaic romance, this love story depicts life as it truly was for the thousands of women who went west reaching for a new life. Aislynn s journey begins in a New York City tenement and leads her across the frontier to a Utah mining camp where she must cope with the conflicting intentions of three very different men. Life in the roughshod camp brings small joys and devastating losses. This novel races through authentic experiences involving historical events until it erupts in an unexpected ending. In today s troubled world, Far Away Home will make you believe no matter how many challenges fate sends your way, the human spirit can triumph.

The High Divide


Lin Enger - 2014
    . . Layered with meaning, this remarkable novel deserves to be read more than once. The High Divide proves Enger s chops as a masterful storyteller. Ann Weisgarber, author of The Promise In 1886, Gretta Pope wakes one morning to discover that her husband is gone. Ulysses Pope has left his family behind on the far edge of Minnesota s western prairie, with only the briefest of notes and no explanation for why he left or where he s headed. It doesn t take long for Gretta s young sons, Eli and Danny, to set off after him, following the scant clues they can find, jumping trains to get where they need to go, and ending up in the rugged badlands of Montana. Short on money and beleaguered by a treacherous landlord, Gretta has no choice but to seek out her sons and her husband as well, leading her to the doorstep of a woman who seems intent on making Ulysses her own. While out in the Western wilderness, the boys find that the closer they come to Ulysses trail, the greater the perils that confront them--until each is faced with a choice about whom they will defend, and who they become.Enger s breathtaking portrait of the vast plains landscape is matched by the rich expanse of his characters emotional terrain, as pivotal historical events--the bloody turmoil of expansionism, the near total demise of the bison herds, and the subjugation of the Plains Indians--blend seamlessly with the intimate story of a family's sacrifice and devotion. "

Eyes of the Hawk


Elmer Kelton - 1981
    Eyes of the Hawk, winner of the Spur Award for Best Western Novel, is an outstanding tale of Texas--filled with authentic characters and history, and telling the story of the outstanding courage and determination of the men and women who challenged an unyielding wilderness to build a frontier legend.Thomas Canfield descends from a line of Texas's earliest settlers. A proud man with a fierce-eyes stare, he inspires the Mexican of Stonehill, Texas to call him el gavilan--the "hawk". When Branch Isom--an insolent, dangerous newcomer--seeks to build his fortune at Canfeild's expense, an all-out feud ensues. Hurtling the town toward a day of reckoning that will shake the entire town to its very roots. Eyes of the Hawk is a classic tale of Western history, told by one of the most critically acclaimed writers of the American West.

Jackie and Maria: A Novel of Jackie Kennedy & Maria Callas


Gill Paul - 2020
    But all that changes when she encounters…ARISuccessful and charming, Ari Onassis is a man who promises her the world. Yet soon after they marry, Jackie learns that his heart also belongs to another…MARIAA beautiful, famed singer, Maria Callas is in love with Jackie’s new husband – and she isn’t going to give up.Little by little, Jackie and Maria’s lives begin to tangle in a dangerous web of secrets, scandal and lies. But with both women determined to make Ari theirs alone, the stakes are high. How far will they go for true love?Readers love The Second Marriage:‘Glamorous and highly seductive, this compelling story explores the lives of two complex, powerful women complete with all their talents and flaws.’ Dinah Jefferies, author of The Tuscan Contessa‘Heart-breaking. Brilliant. Powerful. Its intensity and perception knocked me out; I guarantee that this fascinating love-triangle story will have you enthralled.’ Kate Furnivall, author of The Guardian of Lies‘I was completely enthralled, wholly swept up in the characters, the glamour, and the fascinating story of these iconic women. An utter treat from beginning to end – readers far and wide will fall under its spell.’ Jenny Ashcroft, author of Beneath a Burning Sky‘I can't rave highly enough about this book – it's my favourite Gill Paul novel to date. A dazzling yet moving portrait of two very different iconic women, it's brilliantly researched, compellingly told and completely fascinating. I just loved it.’ Tracy Rees, author of Amy Snow‘A compelling and fascinating story about powerful personalities.’ Rosanna Ley, author of The Lemon Tree Hotel‘Addictive and so well-researched. I read it in a day.’ Kate Riordan, author of The Heatwave‘A truly compelling story… This is the best of historical fiction – leaving you wanting to learn more.’ Liz Trenow, author of The Forgotten Seamstress

Return to Mandalay


Rosanna Ley - 2014
    But it is only when Eva's job as an antiques dealer suddenly requires a trip to Mandalay that Lawrence finally breaks his silence and asks her to return a mysterious artifact of his own - a chinthe - to its rightful owner. As Eva arrives in Burma her mission soon proves dangerously complicated, and the treasure she is guarding becomes the centre of a scandal that will have far-reaching consequences. Caught between loyalty and integrity, Eva is determined to find the truth about her grandfather's past, of her own family origins, and of the red-eyed chinthe itself - enigmatic symbol of the riches of Mandalay.

Buckskin Brigades


L. Ron Hubbard - 1955
    Torn between two races, he is propelled across the vast, unexplored Northwest wilderness of the early 1800s in a desperate mission to defend his adopted people from invasion by ruthless white fur traders.

A Splendid Ruin


Megan Chance - 2021
    After her mother’s death, penniless May Kimble lives a lonely life until an aunt she didn’t know existed summons her to San Francisco. There she’s welcomed into the wealthy Sullivan family and their social circle.Initially overwhelmed by the opulence of her new life, May soon senses that dark mysteries lurk in the shadows of the Sullivan mansion. Her glamorous cousin often disappears in the night. Her aunt wanders about in a laudanum fog. And a maid keeps hinting that May is in danger. Trapped by betrayal, madness, and murder, May stands to lose everything, including her freedom, at the hands of those she trusts most.Then, on an early April morning, San Francisco comes tumbling down. Out of the smoldering ruins, May embarks on a harrowing road to reclaim what is hers. This tragic twist of fate, along with the help of an intrepid and charismatic journalist, puts vengeance within May’s reach. But will she take it?

Miss Mary's Daughter


Diney Costeloe - 2018
     After her mother's death, twenty-year-old Sophie Ross is left orphaned, with only her erstwhile nursemaid and faithful friend, Hannah for company. Penniless and little chance of an income, she looks for work as a governess in London to avoid destitution. But unbeknown to Sophie, her mother instructed Hannah to post a letter to Trescadinnick House in Cornwall upon her death. The letter will be the catalyst that changes Sophie's life forever as she learns of her mother's doomed romance and family she left behind in Cornwall. The Penvarrow family welcomes Sophie into their fold, but the new life she's built is threatened by secrets and lies that soon come to light... What readers are saying about Miss Mary's Daughter: 'Diney Costeloe's books are always first on my list, she writes such wonderful stories' 'I loved everything about this novel. It's an intriguing plot with a well-rounded group of characters and a beautifully written setting'.

Sioux Dawn


Terry C. Johnston - 1990
    His Plainsmen series brims with colorful characters, fierce battles and compelling historical lore.The Civil War was over, and a great westward march began. Settlers and soldiers poured out of the East along the Bozeman Trail, cutting deep into sacred Sioux hunting grounds. For Red Cloud and his warriors, there would be no choice but to fight for their ancestral rights.Seen through the eyes of gruff Sergeant Seamus Donegan, here is the historically accurate tale of a tragic opening to the war between two great civilization: the Fetterman Massacre of 1866.