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"A sweet and true and heartbreaking (story), echoing with the actualities of our old horseback life in the American West".--William Kittredge.
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"A sweet and true and heartbreaking (story), echoing with the actualities of our old horseback life in the American West".--William Kittredge.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Set in the West in the early 1900s, Emshwiller's latest novel is the story of Lotti, a young girl uncertain of her place in the world. Her mother has just married the hired man, Ledoyt (or ``Old Him,'' as Lotti likes to say), and Lotti is terribly confused, as only an adolescent can be. Frustrated beyond endurance, she dresses as a boy and runs away, taking her younger brother, Fay, with her. A traumatic attack while on the trail brings certain benefits: Lotti begins to put the facts of her life together and comes to realize that she was the result of a rape. Lotti returns to her home and, bolstered by a new understanding of her mother and an uneasy truce with Ledoyt, finds comfort in her drawings and newfound identity. The narrative shifts between Lotti's first-person accounts and those of her family, a technique that, if sometimes distracting, does create an intimate acquaintance with each character and with family relationships. More important is Emshwiller's verbal portrait of Lotti (cleverly augmented by Lotti's journal drawings of horses and people-many engulfed in flames) and of adolescent resentment and angst. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Pregnant and appalled, Oriana runs away to the Far West to create a desert homestead free of men (she mistakenly believes). Six years later, in 1902, a peculiar, big-hearted drifter changes Oriana's mind, inadvertently wins her abiding love, and captivates her daughter, Lotti, into a persistent love-hate fascination. With his checkered history, individualistic habits, odd appearance, and penchant for wandering, Beal Ledoyt seems an unlikely grand love and family anchor-but Emshwiller knows well the marvelous inexplicability of love, jealousy, and heroism. Told in the third person from several different viewpoints and in the first person as Lotti's journal, with recipes, remedies, and drawings mixed in, Ledoyt is primarily Lotti's story. This confused, strong-willed child-woman eventually follows her mother's path, running away and dragging along with her young half-brother Fayette on a confused, ironic, tragic quest for family. From the author of Verging on the Pertinent (LJ 12/89); purchase for public library collections.-Janet Ingraham, Worthington P.L., Ohio
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781562790813
  • Publisher: Mercury House
  • Publication date: 7/1/1995
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2001

    The West as it Was

    This is a wonderful novel. It's told in three voices, a mother, her daughter (through her journals), and the drifter of the title, Ledoyt. It is a perfect novel for lying back and forgetting where you are -- and when you're done you might get the urge to give up the city life, move to the hills, and look into buying a horse. Treat yourself, read this novel.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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