Backlands: A Novel of the American West [NOOK Book]

Overview

An expansive, epic tale like Philipp Meyer’s The Son, and in the wonderful storyteller vein of Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove, McGarrity’s Backlands showcases his keen eye for historical detail, awe-inspiring scenery, and the bitter harshness of life on the last vestiges of the twentieth-century frontier West.



Michael McGarrity returns with the second installment of his ...
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Backlands: A Novel of the American West

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Overview

An expansive, epic tale like Philipp Meyer’s The Son, and in the wonderful storyteller vein of Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove, McGarrity’s Backlands showcases his keen eye for historical detail, awe-inspiring scenery, and the bitter harshness of life on the last vestiges of the twentieth-century frontier West.



Michael McGarrity returns with the second installment of his sweeping, richly authentic New York Times bestselling American West trilogy set in the raw, untrammeled New Mexico backlands during the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, and World War II.



Hard Country, the first novel in the Kerney family trilogy and the debut prequel to his national bestselling Kevin Kerney crime novels, was critically acclaimed for its authentic, gritty realism; its sprawling, engrossing story; and its compelling, engaging characters. An instant hit on several national bestseller lists, Hard Country continues to attract an overwhelmingly positive response from critics, booksellers, and readers.



Backlands continues the story of Patrick Kerney; his ex-wife, Emma; and their young son, Matthew, shortly after the tragic battlefield death of their eldest son, CJ, at the end of World War I. Scarred by the loss of an older brother he idolized, estranged from a father he barely knows, and deeply troubled by the failing health of a mother he adores, eight-year-old Matthew is suddenly and irrevocably forced to set aside his childhood and take on responsibilities far beyond his years. When the world spirals into the Great Depression and drought settles like a plague over the nation, Matt must abandon his own dreams to salvage the Kerney ranch. Plunged into a deep trough of dark family secrets, hidden crimes, broken promises, and lies, Matt must struggle to survive on the unforgiving, sun-blasted Tularosa Basin.


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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
05/12/2014
McGarrity's hefty middle title is part of the trilogy set in the American West, after Hard Country. Emma Kerney, dying from a bad heart, lives in the frontier town of La Cruces, New Mexico, with her eight-year-old son Matthew during the 1920s. Divorced from her "backlands” rancher husband, Patrick, for spousal rape, she arranges a substantial trust plan administered by the town banker Henry Bowman and lawyer Wallace Claiborne Hale to provide for Matthew after her demise. Patrick (aka "Pat Floyd”) has a checkered past as an inmate at Yuma Prison, though the Arizona territorial governor later grants him a pardon. He also serves with military distinction as a member of Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders, but after Emma dies and leaves Patrick as the sole guardian, he is less successful at establishing strong emotional bonds with Matthew. Headstrong father and son quarrel over whether Matthew should stay to work on the Kerney ranch or leave to continue his high school and college education. Matthew goes on to have an ill-fated romance with Beth Merton—who is stricken with tuberculosis—while the Great Depression leaves him in dire financial straits to gut it out and survive the bad times. By the time the Second World War breaks out, Matthew feels as if he is ready to make several life-altering decisions. McGarrity's narrative is picturesque and enjoyable, and sets the stage for the trilogy's final installment. (May)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780698157118
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 5/6/2014
  • Series: Kerney Family Trilogy Series , #2
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 544
  • Sales rank: 16,550
  • File size: 5 MB

Meet the Author

Michael McGarrity
MICHAEL MCGARRITY is the New York Times bestselling author of Hard Country, the Anthony Award-nominated Tularosa, and eleven other bestselling Kevin Kerney crime novels. A former deputy sheriff for Santa Fe County, he also served as an instructor at the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy and as an investigator for the New Mexico public defender’s office. He lives in Santa Fe with his wife, Emily Beth.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

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(3)

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2014

    Love this author

    I read (and re-read) "Hard Country" and loved that book. When I saw there was a sequel, I was very excited to read "Backlands" and was not disappointed.

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  • Posted July 7, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    3.5 stars Did I enjoy this book: Yes! I thought Mr. McGa

    3.5 stars




    Did I enjoy this book: Yes!




    I thought Mr. McGarrity did an especially nice job of developing his characters in the book. I understand it’s the second in a series; I haven’t read the first book, but had no problem picking up the story line.
     
    This story begins in the 1920s, survives the Great Depression, and ends with the Second World War: McGarrity covers a lot of ground in five hundred pages. That’s probably why the book seemed to drag on so long for me.
     
    I thought a huge conflict was brewing about 40% through the book when the main character’s trustee told him, “You’ll be a very well-off young man . . . I’ve leveraged the stock by buying it on margin . . .” Knowing that the Great Depression was right around the corner, I was bracing for the worst. But the book just breezed through the Depression with no single climax or resolution that I could sink my teeth into.
     
    I did see a huge difference in Patrick’s character from the beginning to the end. I didn’t understand why he changed… maybe just old age.
     
    Even in a series, I like a book to contain all the elements that a novel should. I think Mr. McGarrity might be saving some of his big moments for the last book.




    Would I recommend it: Knowing that it’s long and what it’s about, if it still sounds interesting to you, then yes.  There’s a huge audience for people who like this kind of old West, historical literature.




    As reviewed by Belinda at Every Free Chance Books. 




    Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange  for an honest review.

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  • Posted June 1, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Emma Kerney is dying of heart disease and is determined to insur

    Emma Kerney is dying of heart disease and is determined to insure that her son, Matthew, eight years old at the beginning of this novel, will be financially secure.  She’s also determined that her ex-husband, Patrick, a drinker and all-around nasty individual, will be able to touch very little of what she’s leaving for Matthew.  While she has a sudden upswing in her health, she accomplishes all she set out to do and even has some amicable moments with Patrick.  But life is never that simple, and eventually Matthew is left with only his father to raise him.  At first it all goes well as Patrick tries to train Matthew in riding and caring for horses, Matthew’s great love.  Matthew’s ultimate goal, however, is to finish high school and attend college, a dream Patrick mocks!
    As time passes, we read the remainder of the story of Matthew, Patrick, the New Mexican Spanish residents, including one who eventually marries Patrick for a short time.  This is the story of survival in the lean years of the early twenties and thirties, when these New Mexico residents were faced with drought and the Great Crash that financially destroyed people in this community as well as throughout America.
    Matthew, however, evolves into one determined, hard-working man.  As his relationship with his father deteriorates, his luck in obtaining work with the CCC of Roosevelt’s administration and other choices force him into becoming the owner and caretaker of the ranch his father used to run.  
    Without giving away the many exciting, challenging scenes in this novel, suffice to say it’s a great novel of the West and a story of the Darwinian struggle to persist and succeed at living and working in a beautiful but tough land beloved by so many – the Great American West!  Very nicely crafted, Michael McGarrity!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2014

    Awesome as usual

    Wonderful reading and a great story. Loved Hard Country and this followup is a pleasure to read. Thank you, loved it. Kat

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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