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Augusta Locke: A Novel

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  102 ratings  ·  21 reviews
One woman's tough, spirited life in the deserts and lonely ranges of the twentieth-century West
Novelist William Haywood Henderson has won acclaim for his precisely rendered and achingly beautiful evocations of land and nature and his ability to bring to vivid life the contemporary West of ranch hands and drifters. Of his most recent novel, "The Rest of the Earth," Annie
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published April 6th 2006 by Viking Adult (first published 2006)
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May 14, 2018 rated it did not like it
This book had been on my TBR list for several years, but I kept wanting to read it because it was about a tough woman and her life on the frontier (a typical favorite for me). I should have left it on the TBR List! After obtaining this book from interlibrary loan, I had trouble getting into it. There was a lot of description and not a lot of plot. Sometimes I wished the author would just say it! All the action was alluded to and there was very little conversation amongst characters, only thought ...more
Jim Grimsley
Mar 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
For the pure pleasure of reading prose this book is at the top tier; the writing is strung through with paragraphs that are glorious, evocative of landscape, making me feel as if I am walking through a country that I actually know only barely. It would be tempting to say that the landscape overwhelms the book, but my own brief experience of Wyoming was much like that. The geography dominates everything. The countryside insists on itself in every possible way, and you live in a feeling of space t ...more
Jo Young Switzer
Jun 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The book, Augusta Locke, paints a rich picture of the American West, particularly Wyoming before many white settlers explored it. We hear the story through the eyes of a strong and gritty woman -- Augusta "Gussie" Locke. "Gussie" lives courageously yet naturally at the edge of civilization. She clears roads, spends wintery months scores of miles away from any towns, and lives without safety nets of civilization. Gussie is tough, strong, resilient, adaptable. Her friends are men who live in isola ...more
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
I almost quit reading this book a couple of times, but then it would get a little interesting and I just kept going. Decided I had to finish it. Some of the long descriptions of things seem to go on and on. I found myself skimming a bit of it, knowing that it didn’t really apply to the story and was just a random description of something. I don’t think the main character, Gussie , was that likable, or even that believable. I hate to criticize someone’s writing because I know that they put a lot ...more
Randi Samuelson-Brown
Mar 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great book with a strong female protagonist. I actually read this book while I was in Dublin, and felt the lure of the American West so strongly. What I also like about this book is the fact that Augusta seems very REAL and not stereotypical in the slightest. Books portraying historical women with their own ambitions and morals is very welcome indeed.
Carnegie E
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The prose in this book is stark and beautiful. The landscape, flora and fauna of the West is as much a character in this work as the titled character Gussie, and Henderson's words drip richly on the page. ...more
Jan 17, 2021 rated it liked it
Interesting how the author kept me engaged because I was waiting for a plot change that never came.
Cara Lee
Dec 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"In Wyoming, in Rawlins, she had watched the funeral of a boy killed in the Great War. There had been nothing to see but the box, the flag, and the mourners. She'd though of how he'd died, and how long he might have lain unnoticed, and how his face might have been turned from the sky, so that his cheek and the tip of his nose touched the earth. As he lay there, if he'd lived for even a few seconds, his entire world would have been the blades of grass, and the spider with its dance of legs and si ...more
Dec 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Set primarily in Wyoming, Henderson's new novel chronicles a woman's troubled and short-lived relationships with both her mother and her daughter. Redolent with myth, humor, strange landscapes and stark reality, Augusta Locke is an indelible portrait of a woman who, through great spirit and toughness of character, blazes her own trail. Of his previous novel, The Rest of the Earth, Annie Proulx remarked that "Henderson writes some of the most evocative and transcendently beautiful prose in contem ...more
Jun 02, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this one up because it sounded like a Wallace Stegner book, and I loved his Angle of Repose. August Locke is similar in many ways (tale of a woman in the Wild West), but not as compelling. I wanted to like Gussie (Augusta) more than I did. Instead, I found myself capitvated by the descriptions of Colorado and Wyoming. If you've ever been to Greeley or Estes Park or anywhere in Wyoming, you'll enjoy the time travel here. ...more
Tina Deschamps
Sep 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
Henderson writes with breathtakingly gorgeous prose, creating a character that is achingly resilient in the face of a hostile and beautiful world. Augusta Locke is a strange, interesting and unforgettable character. This book is definitely worth the read for anyone who loves lyrical prose and has a heart for the rugged beauty of the West.
Jul 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
Extraordinarily vivid description of places and nature - Wyoming, Colorado and Minnesota, as well as an exceedingly self reliant, imaginative woman protagonist. Augusta's life is remarkable and unique among characters I've met, her observations acute and poignant. Henderson's writing is powerful, his love of natural history evident and his understanding of humanity wonderful. A great read! ...more
Dec 30, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Took me a long time to get into it, mildly entertaining in the middle, then a lot of skimming towards the end. Undeveloped characters and everything else is far too descriptive for my liking. It's going into the donation bin :( ...more
Jun 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Thisbook reminded me of "The Shipping News": elegant prose descriptive of a remote, harsh, but beautiful place, quirky characters, and a simple story of love and loss. Gussie Locke is a helluva woman who lived her life in the wilds of early 20th century Wyoming - I loved her story! ...more
Jun 23, 2010 rated it did not like it
This is a boring novel about the dusty landscape with a couple of undeveloped characters lurking in it. The plot was pointless and depressing. It was a chore to finish reading this one!
Mar 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
William Haywood Henderson writes with grace. With each book of his I read, the landscape sits down beside me, and while glancing over my shoulder she gently turns the page.
Feb 21, 2014 added it
Book club book. Jan Zemple's choice. Her brother wrote the book so he was able to come to our book club to talk about it. Very Cool. ...more
Mar 29, 2009 rated it it was ok
I enjoyed reading this book because it took place in Wyoming and many of the places in the story were spots that I have known and loved.
Erin Lovell
Mar 11, 2010 rated it liked it
Slowly making my way through this and am enjoying the character development. The depiction of the Wyoming landscape is breathtaking!
Rebecca Snow
rated it it was amazing
Feb 10, 2013
Megan Turilli
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Jan 05, 2021
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Feb 10, 2018
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Dec 31, 2009
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Aug 28, 2011
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Aug 13, 2007
Pamela Kenney
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Mar 04, 2015
Jennifer Green
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May 06, 2017
De Anna
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Feb 07, 2017
Sharon L. Sherman
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Oct 16, 2011
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