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Cowgirl Dreams

A book by Heidi M. Thomas

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Felt like visiting a different time and place

  • Aug 26, 2009
I used to love borrowing Westerns from the library when I first got my grown-up card. But I've never read a Western like this one. Cowgirl Dreams is based on the life of the author's grandmother, a real-life Montana cowgirl, and tells of a young tomboy, Nettie Brady, growing up in the 1920s with dreams of becoming a rodeo star.

I hadn't realized there really were female rodeo stars in the 1920s. I hadn't imagined how a woman would ride in a skirt, or how society would respond if she wore pants. And though I've seen two rodeos (yes, a whole two) and enjoyed them both, I never really imagined how it might feel to take part.

Heidi Thomas brings it all to life, from the nervousness and exhilaration of Nettie's first public ride, to the humiliation of being forced to stay home mending clothes. The influenza epidemic brings its trail of tears and leaves Nettie balancing her longing for freedom with love and duty to home and family. She starts working for a young cowboy neighbor in order to help with the family's finances, and soon their easy friendship begins to grow into something deeper.

I loved the sense of time and place that the author conveys in this book. I loved the characters, for all their flaws, and felt like I really got to know them. And I loved reading how disaster and sorrow turn around into hope and joy.

Much more than a second-hand memoir, Cowgirl Dreams is an intriguing, well-researched and well-told story with a core of truth for women of all ages. I really enjoyed it.

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review by . August 11, 2009
Cowgirl Dreams gives the readers not only a great book about love and independence, but the struggle that women have gone through in America.    Nettie Brady is eager to fulfill her love of being a rodeo star, but has to deal with some people's thoughts of the role of women as well as the seemingly age-old question: Can a woman have a career and a family?    Heidi THomas answers these this question and more in this literary journey that will take you back …
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Sheila Deeth ()
Ranked #42
Sheila Deeth's first novel, Divide by Zero, has just been released in print and ebook formats. Find it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, etc. Her spiritual speculative novellas can be found at … more
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Some girls claim they were born as horses and only later grew up to be western women. Heidi Thomas gives us one of those passionate, persistent young women in Nettie Brady, and she s based this sparkling and enduring character on her own grandmother s story. Cowgirl Dreams is a heart-warming read for all ages and lets us all know why Ms. Thomas is not only a fine editor of other author s books but shines as a skilled and compassionate writer herself. Jane Kirkpatrick, author of A Sweetness to the Soul (Wrangler Award, 1995) and A Tendering in the Storm, winner of a WILLA Literary Award, 2008. --Jane Kirkpatrick, Award Winning author

"Heidi Thomas brings heart, verve and knowledge to her depiction of the intrepid Nettie. A lively look at the ranch women of an almost forgotten West." --Deirdre McNamer, MFA English Professor, University of Montana and author of Red Rover, My Russian, and One Sweet Quarrel

Nettie Brady defies anyone who challenges her right to become a rodeo rider. She ll gladly take the bone-jarring, gut-twisting ride of a wild steer than endure the stark boredom of women s work in the 1920s. Needlepoint isn t her thing horseback riding, working cattle, and, yes, rodeo riding are what her life is all about. But family is important, too, and their disapproval makes for heart-wrenching decisions. Heidi Thomas does a magnificent job of pulling readers into another time, another place. Cowgirl Dreams is an exciting read, full of heart and yearnings. --Mary E. ...
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ISBN-10: 1932695834
ISBN-13: 978-1932695830
Author: Heidi M. Thomas
Publisher: Treble Heart Books/Sundowners

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