Sunday, May 16, 2010

Claiming Ground

Laura Bell's memoir Claiming Ground is one that grew on me as I that I wish I had been able to read without interruptions the entire way through. This weekend started with a sleepover at my house and the reading time I found was not large chunks of time, but just moments in-between getting, helping, finding things for a group of girls. Finally yesterday afternoon when I returned from my library trip I was able to read uninterrupted for an hour and really get into this book.

Bell's writing is beautiful, and it is no wonder that her book is on Barnes and Nobles' Discover New Writers Summer 2010 list. In the 1970s Bell became a sheepherder in Wyoming's Big Horn Basin after graduating from college. Her life there was one of solitude, an only woman among other males in the profession. Bell writes of the beauty of the land, but also of the hardships she faces. Decades pass and Bell experiences a marriage that eventually fails, different jobs, heartache and joy all the while looking for a place to make a home.

I truly did love this book, and uncharacteristically, I really tried to slow down my reading and enjoy Bell's writing (I will admit that usually I am a very fast reader- looking over my TBR stacks and knowing I must be quick in order to get through the other items I have waiting).

"...but what he couldn't have known then was that these were just two of a generous handful of seeds that would germinate and start up the trellis, sending out runners and binding us together (82)."

This is a beautiful, honest memoir - definitely worth my time. My only regret is that it took me so long to get into it and find some quiet time to read.

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