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The Homesman by Glendon Swarthout
  

Sarah Broadhurst's view...

First published in 1988 this quiet, brilliant Western is about to be released as a film starring Tommy Lee Jones and Meryl Streep as our indomitable heroes and guides. A ‘homesman’ was required to guide people – mostly women – broken by the hardships of life on the Western frontier back to the East, back hopefully to sanity. In this case that homesman is a woman, a tough spinster, who recruits a man she manages to rescue from hanging to escort her and the four women in her charge. This is a book about lives and people in a rare and fascinating point in American history and one of those stories not often enough told about simple lives lived heroically.

If you like Glendon Swarthout you might also like to read books by Thomas Eidson, Philip Meyer and Patrick deWitt.

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Synopsis

The Homesman by Glendon Swarthout

The Homesman is a devastating, humane story of early pioneers to America's West in the 1850's. It celebrates the ones we hear nothing of-the brave women whose hearts and minds were broken by that life of bitter hardship. When a nineteen-year-old mother loses her three children to diphtheria in three days, or a woman left alone for two nights has to shoot wolves as they crash through the window, it is no wonder they should lose their minds. After a dreadful winter, the Rev. Dowd finds there are four such cases in his parish and, as yet, no asylum in this frontier town. A 'homesman' must be found to escort the women East to civilization. Not a job anyone would volunteer for, it falls to Mary Bee Cuddy, ex-teacher, spinster-indomitable, resourceful, plain as an old tin pail. Brave as she is, Mary Bee knows she cannot succeed alone, and the only companion available is the low-life and untrustworthy George Briggs, a claim-jumper.Thus begins a trek East, against the tide of colonization, against hardship, Indian attacks, ice storms, loneliness, and the unceasing aggravation of a disparate group of mad women, which provides a series of tough, fast-paced adventures and introduces two wonderful, idiosyncratic characters. Coming to cinemas in 2014 with an incredible cast - featuring Tommy Lee Jones, Meryl Streep, Hilary Swank and John Lithgow. Not to be missed!

About the Author

Glendon Swarthout wrote sixteen novels, many of which were bestsellers and were made into films, among them Seventh Cavalry, They Came to Cordura, Where the Boys Are, Bless the Beasts & Children, and A Christmas to Remember. He was twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in fiction and won a number of other awards, including the Western Writers Award for Lifetime Achievement.

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Book Info

Publication date

11th September 2014

Author

Glendon Swarthout

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Publisher

Simon & Schuster Ltd

Format

Paperback
352 pages

Categories

Literary Fiction
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9781471136047

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