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A Story of the West

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3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  21 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Matt Daly and his father first come to Montana Territory driving a herd of Texas longhorns in the 1880s. They, like many others, are determined to make a living on the lawless frontier. After finding an ideal spot to homestead, they start a ranch, the D Rocking D. Life is hard, but fulfilling, as there is money to be made selling beef to the exploding population back east. ...more
Paperback, 277 pages
Published June 1st 2009 by Susan Spence
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Kathleen Kelly
May 28, 2012 Kathleen Kelly rated it really liked it
The Story of the West by Susan Spence is a historical novel that takes place in the American West in the later 1880's. It is about Matt Daly who is in town one day for supplies and see's the woman he will marry, Lavina. They marry, have children and are very happy on the ranch until a ruthless neighbor who wants the Daly's ranch and water rights. As in the old west things are settled with a gun and Matt becomes a fugitive from the law, everyone thinks he is dead and he was told that his family w ...more
Wall-to-wall books - wendy
May 28, 2012 Wall-to-wall books - wendy rated it really liked it
Well this book was not what I expected! Holy cow!
It was a tad bit slow starting out, but then got real good when the little love story was thrown in there. It went from a love story to sadness to adventure and suspense, back to love story, back to sadness.... I love a book that can take you from the edge of your seat to sobbing in a matter of pages!
And - how can I talk about this book without giving it all away? Well - there are so many things that happened that just blew my mind. It was not pre
...more
Kathleen
May 04, 2012 Kathleen rated it really liked it
A Story of the West is a fascinating Western Historical fiction novel that is filled with a richly detailed history of the 1880s Wild West mixed with the tenderhearted romance of a cowboy and his lady. The storyline is well written, the author does a wonderful job of researching and providing the reader with a story that reads like a history lesson of how the West was settled, and balances it nicely with the romance between Matt and Lavina.

The story follows the life of Matt Daly, a cowboy who is
...more
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Stop by my blog for an author giveaway of this book.

http://silversolara.blogspot.com

Roping cattle, trading horses, living in log cabins, cooking on a wood-cook stove, an all-purpose store in town...... you will experience all of this as you turn the pages.

A STORY OF THE WEST follows Matt Daly, the owner of the D Rockin' D cattle ranch, through cattle drives and through his daily life and gives a wonderful explanation of a cowboy's life at home and his travel from one open field to another roundi
...more
Amie McCracken
Apr 10, 2012 Amie McCracken rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012
A Story of the West by Susan Spence is an historical novel about a cowboy and his lady. Matt Daly is a cattle rancher in Montana. Lavina Lavold is a shopkeepers daughter who moves to Montana from big city life on the east coast. They fall in love.

The story was absolutely enthralling for me. I could not put this book down. When I had to, my mind was preoccupied with it while I cooked dinner, worked, did basically anything else. Susan weaves history into the story (sometimes with too much instruct
...more
Adelina
Apr 13, 2012 Adelina rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
When Susan contacted me about her book A Story of the West, I got pretty excited. One of my favorite authors is Zane Grey - big time Western author. He actually lived during the time he wrote about and the time period Susan has written about. I'm fascinated by the old west, where everyone worked hard, yet life seemed simpler than it is today. As I read A Story of the West, I felt Susan really captured those moments again for me. Living vicariously through her book I was able to imagine life on a ...more
Vicki
May 16, 2012 Vicki rated it liked it
Even though I’m not a fan of historical fiction or westerns, I’ve been trying to expand my reading into other genres to see if I’m missing something. This book let me know that, yes, I am.

Susan Spence has taken back in time, to the 1880′s. She writes in such a detailed manner that I was there with Matt and Lavina and all the other characters and felt what it must have been like to live and survive in that time period.

My dad was a reader. His genre of choice was westerns. Not a day went by that I
...more
Brent Soderstrum
Apr 30, 2012 Brent Soderstrum rated it liked it
Shelves: first-read
I recieved this book free from GoodReads free book program.

This is the story about the Daly family who were cattle ranchers in Montana in the 1880s. The main characters are Matt and Lavina who are married. Matt is working the on the cattle ranch with his father Big John. Spence covers many aspects of working on a cattle ranch during this time frame.

The book starts out slow but really ramps up when the Dalys start having trouble with their neighbors, the Buehlers. This accelerates with people be
...more
Bethany Swafford
Jan 21, 2017 Bethany Swafford rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle
Follow Matt Daly as he falls in love, courts, begins a family, and overcomes harsh obstacles as he builds up a ranch in the Montana territory in the 1880s.

I am a big fan of historical details, but when the story feels like it comes to an abrupt halt to explain some point like a history book, it's not as enjoyable to read. The plot is interesting, although there are points where it drags. The jumps in time make reading it frustrating.

As a western tale, it is that. The characters were alright but
...more
Dana Burgess
Apr 19, 2012 Dana Burgess rated it liked it
Susan Spence has written a fabulous history of the transition of the 'wild' west into more modern times. The story is told by following the life of Matt Daly as he lives through the times. Ms Spence relies on description to take us through the story. There is not a lot of conversation, and time moves quickly. At first I found it hard to become engaged with this style of writing but I employed the '50 page rule' used by other bloggers and it was enough to move me past my expectations and I became ...more
Robert Arl
Mar 03, 2012 Robert Arl rated it it was amazing
Finding a "good" new western novel is not easy. Most are formulaic or unrealistic. I took a chance on this novel because I have an interest in the history of cattle ranching. I'm glad I did.

The author's knowledge of the daily workings of a late 19th century ranch is impressive. This combined with an interesting story and good character development resulted in a compelling read.
Lisa C.
Aug 30, 2014 Lisa C. rated it liked it
I found the story to be terribly slow the first almost half of the book. Slow to the point I nearly deleted it. The story felt all over the place. I really like a lot of detail so you feel you're part of the story, however, too often this went into way too much detail to the point of boring. It was very real to the time period but I probably wouldn't recommend this book.
Phoenix Carvelli
Apr 30, 2012 Phoenix Carvelli rated it really liked it
Book won on Goodreads.com on 4-30-12.
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Susan Spence
Jun 04, 2013 Susan Spence rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
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Susan Spence writes about the West, both old and new. She watches the prairie, alive with deer and antelope, eagles and hawks, rabbits and snakes. The animals share an old sheep shearing station with the author and her husband while she tells stories about the people who live there.
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“Riding a bull must be a bit like flying an ultralight. You get up there and have an exhilarating ride, but then you still have to get down.” 2 likes
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