Years ago I picked up this book at a thrift store, but it is only since my recent trip to Wyoming that I plucked it off the shelf and read the story. I am sorry I did not read it sooner.
The Laura Ingalls Wilder "Little House on the Prairie" series appealed to me as a child, and this story has some of the same flavor. It would make a great family read-aloud. It is a true story told in the letters Elinore Stewart wrote in the early 1900's about homesteading in Wyoming.
One of my favorite anedotes is about a "charming adventure" she and her toddler daughter enjoy resulting from a restlessness that prompts her to saddle up a horse and take her toddler daughter on a "camping-out expedition".
And then there is the story of Cora Belle "the sweetest little bud that ever bloomed upon the twigs of folly." Elinore's opinion that "[a]ll Westerners are likeable, with the possible exception of Greasy Pete" is proven over and over in her descriptions of characters and frontier life.
She notes that "[s]peaking of things singly, Wyoming has nothing beautiful to offer" but [t]aken altogether, it is grandly beautiful..."
In the end, Elinor writes "I have tried every kind of work this ranch affords, and I can do any of it. Of course I am extra strong, but those who try know that strength and knowledge come with doing."
Amen, sister. Ya gotta love any woman who shows that doing hard things is enlarging, and who is unembarrassed to claim her strength.