When I Came West
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When I Came West

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  27 ratings  ·  8 reviews
As a young college student in the early 1970s, Laurie Wagner had never camped out, never gone hiking, and never lived without electricity or indoor plumbing. Yet she walked away from these comforts and headed for the wildest reaches of Montana to live with a man she had not met in person.When I Came West is Laurie Wagner Buyer’s account of her terrifying and exhilarating y...more
Paperback, 200 pages
Published February 26th 2010 by University of Oklahoma Press (first published 2010)
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I found the author's honesty addictive. Laurie's writing style is very tactile thanks to her detailed descriptions. This was a really quick read for me and enjoyable, if not heart-wrenching and tear-jerking at times. I found the first chapter and some senses of time misplaced or lacking. I finished it wanting to know more about her personal philosophies on the other side of what she went through with the mountain man. Did she regret it? Well worth reading. An intriguing experience to relive.
Shelly Immel
When I Came West is eye opening about the rigors of truly self-sufficient living in the mountains of Montana. It also shows why a college-educated woman with almost no prior exposure to the wild would travel across the country to learn this punishing way of life, and choose that life again and again. Reading the book, you learn the strengths and fault-lines of the young woman and the man she joined almost as a mail-order bride, and how he taught her to survive brutal winters and life without ele...more
Annie Laurie (WI)
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twist on the typical pioneer story, takes place in the 70's. written in 2010, memories of loving a mad man.
I am not a fan of an author taking a collection of essays and lazily turning them into a book, but that being said, the subject matter was still very interesting, if a little gruesome at times. But I appreciate Laurie Wagner Buyer not holding back and depicting her life in the wilderness in loving, honest detail.
young woman longing for a back-to-the-earth life moves in with a virtual stranger, a vietnam vet, who emotionally abuses her for years and years, and she learns self subsistence. makes you sick to read of all that she put up with and wouldn't tear herself away from.
A must-read for people interested in the idea of living in the thrall of nature. A perfect tie-in to Laurie's other memoir, Spring's Edge, as well as much of her poetry. Lovely, sad, ultimately uplifting.
I like reading books about things I don't think I'd ever try--- moving to middle-of-nowhere Montana for instance.
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