Claiming Ground

Claiming Ground

by Laura Bell
3.5 11

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Claiming Ground by Laura Bell

In 1977, Laura Bell, at loose ends after graduating from college, leaves her family home in Kentucky for a wild and unexpected adventure: herding sheep in Wyoming’s Big Horn Basin. Inexorably drawn to this life of solitude and physical toil, a young woman in a man’s world, she is perhaps the strangest member of this beguiling community of drunks and eccentrics. So begins her unabating search for a place to belong and for the raw materials with which to create a home and family of her own. Yet only through time and distance does she acquire the wisdom that allows her to see the love she lived through and sometimes left behind.

By turns cattle rancher, forest ranger, outfitter, masseuse, wife and mother, Bell vividly recounts her struggle to find solid earth in which to put down roots. Brimming with careful insight and written in a spare, radiant prose, her story is a heart-wrenching ode to the rough, enormous beauty of the Western landscape and the peculiar sweetness of hard labor, to finding oneself even in isolation, to a life formed by nature, and to the redemption of love, whether given or received.

Quietly profound and moving, astonishing in its honesty, in its deep familiarity with country rarely seen so clearly, and in beauties all its own, Claiming Ground is a truly singular memoir.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307592897
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/09/2010
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 424,486
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Laura Bell’s work has been published in several collections, and from the Wyoming Arts Council she has received two literature fellowships as well as the Neltje Blanchan Memorial Award and the Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Award. She lives in Cody, Wyoming, and since 2000 has worked there for the Nature Conservancy.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Claiming Ground 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Frisbeesage More than 1 year ago
Laura Bell's Claiming Ground is a memoir of a wild, lonely, beautiful life lived in the mountains of Wyoming. When she took a job as a shepherd working for the Lewis Ranch Laura found the place she belonged. Among tough, hardworking people, many of them running from various demons she learns about love and loss the hard way. The language in this book is what strikes you first. Laura uses gorgeous prose to describe the landscape that she clearly loves. You really feel like you could be there in these truly wild and free places. She vividly conveys the feeling of being alone in the places with nothing but her dogs, horse, and sheep for company for long stretches of time. The story ends up being a slow, sad one, with only the Wyoming mountains offering redemption and solace. I wish it could have had a different ending, but I appreciate her honesty and refusal to sugar coat the hard facts of life. If you read western literature you will enjoy this memoir.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this story. The narration was exceptional as well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
maggieFZ More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful story of a woman who's courage opened up a life out West in what is typically a "man's world". She shares with us the importance of friends and family as well as a strong love of the mountains. I am filled with admiration for her(and a bit of envy)
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EffieTX More than 1 year ago
The eblook price is higher then the hardback price?? How can that be? You don't even own an ebook really, you can't resell it, can't share it, can't donate it .... and yet the publisher seems to think that the ebook format is more valuable then the actual book itself? I find this so unableiable amazing... showing unbelievalbe greed on the part of the publisher. They should be ashamed! They lost a sale toay, because I would have likely bought this book as it looked interesting if the price had been somewhat reasonable... but no, because of the greed of the publishier I will find another book.. and I will look for this book at the used book store... where the publisher and the author will make nothing off the sale of the book to me. What a shame this situation is. I hope that the publisher will rethink their pricing on their ebook because they lost a customer today.... and I doubt that I am the only one bypassing this book because of the price.