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Range War Legacy

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Molly, her parents, and her best friend Cassie witness the massacre of three sheep men and over a thousand sheep. Cassie cannot identify the shooters, but Molly and her parents know who they are. The sheriff, the judge, the judge’s son, Molly’s Uncle Tim, Aunt Ruth, Cousin Charlie, with young Cousin Ned watching, committed the slaughter. Molly’s father makes her promise to never tell who the riders were as that would put their lives in jeopardy.

Molly keeps her secret and watches its effect on her family, the town, and her future husband. When more people die, Molly wonders if she should break her promise or keep it.

156 pages, Kindle Edition

First published May 2, 2014

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About the author

Patricia Stinson

8 books19 followers
Pat was a teacher for forty years. Three years in Austin, MN., two years in Madang, New Guinea, and 35 years in Mpls. She volunteered for the Police Reserves for four years, and she was a cooperating witness for the FBI on a Ponzi scheme. She volunteers at her church and the local library. She loves to travel, ride horses, walk her dog and read.

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Displaying 1 - 2 of 2 reviews
Profile Image for Sandy Salisbury.
Author 4 books3 followers
June 22, 2021
The cattlemen and sheep herders of early 20th century Oregon had their disputes, mostly over grazing rights, and this is the fabric onto which Stinson weaves her story. Molly is very young when her life is caught up in this dispute. She witnesses a murder, but dares not speak about it out of fear of reprisals. This secret affects her and her loved ones for the rest of her life.

The dialogue of the story is raw, and really gives you a sense of the roughness of the era. I love the way Stinson keeps the tension of the secret going. At each point in her life, Molly weighs up the pros and cons of telling, and her decisions have consequences. The screen door of her family home echoes the theme as it is banged open and shut.

I enjoyed learning about this period of history, and Stinson gives us lots of interesting tidbits, such as the way sheep dogs are trained. I recommend this book for lovers of the West, of historical fiction, and of good, home-spun tales.
Profile Image for MWBP.
146 reviews8 followers
March 2, 2015
The Oregon War – A review of the novel ‘Range War Legacy’

“Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.” -Benjamin Franklin

Author Patricia Stinson’s novel ‘Range War Legacy’ is set in early 1900’s American West. A story of history and fiction, it retells a bloody war fought between cattle ranchers and sheep owners over control of open range. The trend of lies, corruption and murder by a few cattle ranchers found an ally in the government with crooked judges and sheriffs too being a part of such debauchery. Molly was a little girl when she witnessed a bloody massacre of sheep herders and their sheep by people she knew well. To protect her family she swore to never reveal the identity of the killers. While Molly struggled with the truth, fate revealed its own justice system to balance out the injustices done.

Range War Legacy has an extraordinary story played out by a wide array of colorful characters. It’s punctuated with several dramatic scenes that will stay with you long after you’ve done reading the book. The first chapter itself sets the right mood as a mix of awe and intrigue welcomes readers into its midst. The author doesn’t waste time going into the intimate details of 19th century life and instead paints a broader sense of the place and the time. She captures the lives of ordinary citizens caught up in the early 19th century struggles and who are unwittingly thrown into an economic conflict with their neighbors. She shows just how easy it is for good guys to turn bad and how individual perceptions can influence this classification.

From the beginning itself the reader is thrust into the lives of Molly and her family and it’s difficult to disengage yourself from them. Paul Langster, Molly’s father is shown as an honest man trying to do the right thing even in the midst of a social uprising. The character of Molly is a role model for women empowerment and independent thinking. Her marriage to Aaron and her life choices are testament to this fact. And the growth of her character over the years has also been explored nicely.

There is an underlying feel of tragic overtones to the entire story. The editing is spot on and there is consistency in the mood and pacing of the story. The dialogues between the characters too deserve a mention here. Be it amongst children or between adults, there is a clear distinction made by the use of right flavors and dimensions. For readers there is the added bonus of getting to know a part of U.S. history that is perhaps not that well known. It may be a fictionalized version but there is enough in there to invoke interest to find out more about the period and what transpired in these range wars.

This is a novel that starts with a bang and ends with a bang. I would definitely recommend this to other readers.
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