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Shadow Ranch

3.7  ·  Rating details ·  236 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
The impact of four-year-old Spencer's death has rocked the Carpenter family. For Lainie, the loss of her son is unbearable, and now both her marriage and her very sanity are threatened. Her guitar-obsessed, slacker brother Russell isn't doing very well either, and his own love relationship is rapidly coming undone. Then there's Bop, her fierce and crusty 80-year-old grandf ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published March 28th 1997 by Harper Perennial (first published April 1st 1996)
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This Mapson was a nice change from the formulaic ones I was sick of during my last Mapson reading binge in the fall. I found this battered hard back in the United Way bin at the grocery store and my son gave me the $2 to buy it! I didn't think I'd read it despite its age (early 90's) and indeed I hadn't. It tells the usual horse/ woman/ grief/ family story, complete with Mapson's pithy observations and great voice. Nothing spectacular, but a solidly enjoyable read!

I did like Russell, the brothe
Bonnie Plested
Feb 14, 2011 rated it liked it
A good friend and new book-buddy loaned me several of Jo-Ann Mapsons books. After reading a dozen pages of this book, the story was seemed familiar to me. I could remember the cowboy-millionaire randfather, his granddaughter whose son died and the ending. Now that I have children, re-reading this book, pulled strings in my heart otherwise unplayed. Great characters, with a take on the modern western psyche.
Oct 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: from-shelfari
A story about a family reeling from the loss of a son/grandson/nephew at a young age.

I like Jo-Ann's characters, real seeming people with flaws but usually with good hearts. Her books and stories illustrate the problems we have sometimes relating to each other and the world and it's always hopeful to see hers struggle and usually find some way to break thru the barriers.
Jun 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Pretty good. I really liked Bop but my favorite character was Earlynn. Parts of Shadow Ranch were tedious and I found it wasn't necessary to read every word. I enjoyed the book and I liked the family.
Aug 17, 2012 rated it did not like it
I got about 6 chapters into this book and never did finish it. I didn't really care for any of the characters and even after 6 chapters, I didn't feel like the story was going anywhere. I did try another one of her books, The Owl and Moon Cafe which I enjoyed MUCH more!
Jun 20, 2011 rated it it was ok
Not my favorite book by this author. I almost didn't finish it. Just didn't enjoy the characters or the story.
Apr 26, 2010 rated it did not like it

Didn't finish.
Aug 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
a bit explicit but a great story as all her books are. i don't know how i missed this one
Feb 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Reading JoAnn Mapson's books is a wonderful way to delve into lives you wish were friends. And you hate when the story ends.
Jul 29, 2008 rated it liked it
For those familiar wtih Mapson's other books, while I enjoyed this one, it wasn't as good as either Blue Rodeo or Hank and Chloe.
Isabel C.
Mar 19, 2011 rated it it was ok
Book discarded after 25 pages. I was disappointed. I've read almost all of her books. This one just couldn't hold my interest.
Jan 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Another of my favorites.
Norma Bush
I agree with other reviews. Not worth the time. Too many good books to read.
Jul 13, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: literary-fiction
I read Jo-Ann Mapson for her characters. You feel like you know them, they're your neighbors. Of course, the fact that they're set in Southern California, my home, makes them fun, too.
Jun 25, 2011 marked it as to-read
Colchester Library book sale - 6/25/2011
Di Massey
Nov 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
It felt like she got tired of the story and just ended it..... disappointing.
Oct 04, 2010 rated it it was ok
Not my fav of her stories
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Oct 23, 2011
rated it it was ok
Oct 07, 2011
Samantha Stambaugh
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Jul 30, 2011
Jo Sandgren
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Aug 07, 2011
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Aug 25, 2012
Deanna Kozak
rated it it was amazing
Oct 21, 2014
Sally Boots
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Aug 25, 2011
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Nov 03, 2015
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Feb 18, 2013
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Nov 02, 2016
Feb 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Not one of her best. Ends abruptly, suddenly tieing up the loose ends.
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Jo-Ann Mapson, a third generation Californian, grew up in Fullerton as a middle child with four siblings. She dropped out of college to marry, but later finished a creative writing degree at California State University, Long Beach. Following her son's birth in 1978, Mapson worked an assortment of odd jobs teaching horseback riding, cleaning houses, typing resumes, and working retail. After earning ...more
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