by Tom Groneberg
The Secret Life of Cowboys by its cover or its title, because neither seem a good fit to me. It's a thoughtful, frank memoir of a man searching for a new life, trying to live his dream. Groneberg has always wanted to be a cowboy, to live close to cattle and horses, to love the land. He gets a job leading trail rides for tourists, then works as a hired hand on a ranch, and finally gets his dream- a ranch of his very own. But all along he struggles to fit in, to learn skills kids around him have mastered, to understand simple things that no one bothers to explain because they assume it's common knowledge. He struggles at managing the ranch. The ending surprised me. It's not all happy. Love for the big open skies, wide fields and animals shines through the pages, but so does the heartache at difficulties and failings. I kept thinking of Jenna as I read this book; she's another person who had a dream to live a life different than the one she was raised with, and just went for it. In some ways their stories are quite similar.
rated: 3/5 ........ 257 pages, 2003
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