Today it is my great pleasure to kick off the tour for ‘The Widow Smalls’ by Jamie Lisa Forbes!
Publisher: Pronghorn Press (October 20, 2014)
Category: Short Stories, Literary Fiction, Women’s Fiction
Tour Date: November, 2014
Available in: Print & ebook, 231 Pages
Thirty years of browbeating from rancher Bud Smalls has penned his wife, Leah, into emotional isolation. Now Bud is gone and Leah owns the ranch, but there is no help forthcoming from Bud’s brothers who want to force her out and take the ranch for themselves. When their attempt to humiliate her instead becomes her opportunity to succeed, Leah begins to find her way back to herself and learns how much she can gain by opening her heart.
The Widow Smalls is just one of the stories in this collection by the WILLA Award winning author of Unbroken, Jamie Lisa Forbes, who writes about the hardships of making a living from the land with an understanding that comes from first-hand experience.
Her deftly drawn characters include star-crossed lovers, a young rancher facing his first test of moral courage, an inscrutable ranch hand claiming an impressive relative, a father making one last grasp for his daughter’s love and a child’s struggle to make sense of the world around her. Each will pull you into the middle of their stories and keep you turning the pages.
In this collection of short stories, there are two novella length stories as well. There are 6 stories in all. The stories fit well together, with the common theme of ranching life in the 1930’s-50’s . I truly loved this collection as a whole.
I found the first story, Romona Dietz haunting. It is about a rancher, Roy who brings on a couple to work for him. Romona, the wife, is very young and does the cooking. Roy starts out the day every morning, eating breakfast with the couple. It soon becomes apparent to Roy that the couple are having problems. He even asks Ramona if her husband is beating her. She doesn’t reply but he is convinced.
At the end of the story, we find out something even worse. All is not what it seems.
The last story is that of the title, ‘The Widow Smalls’. Leah’s husband, Bud, just dies and already his brothers are trying to get Leah to sell them her ranch. Bub an Leah have no children but before Bud died, sometimes their nephews would lend a hand. However, now Leah is on her own and the brothers give her a very weak offer for the property. Leah is tested she shines through as a strong woman, not to be taken for granted or “to the cleaners.”
I enjoy short stories but this has to be about the best collection I have read for a long time. My favorite collection of all time is probably, Jhumpa Lahri’s ‘Interpreter of Maladies’ the stories are all about Indians and Indian Americans. However, I have to say, ‘The Widow Smalls’ comes the closest to that, in terms of my favorites. So, yes it is among my favorite collections now!
I think even readers who don’t usually like short stories that much will really enjoy ‘The Widow Smalls’. It has a bit of a John Steinbeck feel so, those fans of classics and literary writing, should enjoy it. I highly recommend ‘The Widow Smalls’!
I received an ebook copy for my honest opinion.
About Jamie Lisa Forbes:
Jamie Lisa Forbes was raised on a family ranch in southeastern Wyoming. She graduated from the University of Colorado with honors in 1977 and then lived in Israel until 1979, when she returned to her family’s ranch and raised her own family over the next fifteen years. Today, she writes and practices law in Greensboro, North Carolina. She enjoys spending time with her grandsons and playing old time Appalachian fiddle. With her Arabian horse, Cody, and her cattle dog, Reb, she still devotes part of her life to the outdoors.
Jamie Lisa Forbes won the WILLA Award for her novel ‘Unbroken’.
Buy Widow Smalls:
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Thanks to the author, Jamie Lisa Forbes, I am giving away one print or ebook copy of ‘The Widow Smalls.’ This giveaway is open internationally however, the print book is only available to the U.S. An international winner will receive the ebook. This giveaway ends on November 27, 2014. Please use the Rafflecopter to enter.
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Follow the Tour:
Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Nov 3 Review & Giveaway Pinky’s Favorite Reads Nov 4 Interview & Excerpt Inspire to Read Nov. 5 Excerpt Cassandra M’s Place Nov. 6 Review & Giveaway Back to Books Nov. 7 Review WV Stitcher Nov.10 Review Dr Bill’s Book Bazaar Nov. 11 Review Deal Sharing Aunt Nov. 12 Review, Giveaway, & Excerpt Unshelfish Nov 13 Review Indie Re Behind the Scenes Nov 13 9 PM Eastern Live Interview My Reading Addictions Nov. 14 Review Bound 4 Escape Nov. 17 Review What U Talking Bout Willis? Nov. 18 Review, Guest Post, & Excerpt Room With Books Nov 18 Interview & Excerpt Manic Mama of 3 Nov 19 Review Lady in Read Nov. 20 Review Two Children and a Migraine Nov 24 Review The Book Binder’s Daughter Nov. 26 Review