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This books takes narrative liberties to tell the true story of a real Wyoming cowboy, Colton H. Bryant.  Born in 1980 to a loving and close family, Colton is often teased in childhood for his short attention span and simple outlook, but he never loses his love of life and grows up to be a decent and kind husband, father, brother and son.  With stunning blue eyes and a truly beautiful soul, Colton becomes one of Wyoming’s favourite sons, but as he and his friends grow up, reality bites and he starts working on one of Wyoming’s Oil Rigs, a dirty and dangerous job, but the only option for many young men in the area.

The book tells Colton’s life in a series of short vignettes and ‘snapshots’ from his youth and adulthood.  It is mostly told in short chapters (about 3 – 5 pages long) and through these chapters, we not only get to know Colton, but also his family, best friend Jake and wife Melissa.  (His family and friends were completely open and honest with Fuller in describing his life.)

This book made me cry – and that isn’t something that happens very often when I’m reading (I love to read, and books often make me laugh, but rarely do they make me cry).  Alexandra Fuller’s writers is incredible – beautiful, evocative and poetic.  This is an author who can bring such emotion to the reader.  She finds the hero in Colton, and really made me feel for this sweet young man, in a way that I almost didn’t even realise until tragedy hits in his story.  At times, I found myself re-reading passages simply because the writing was so lovely.

Despite the harsh life for many people in Wyoming – which is perfectly illustrated, Fuller makes the place – and its people – incredibly interesting, and it’s clear that despite hating the greedy oil companies who have taken over so much of the area – she has a deep affection and love for the place.

I adored this book, and getting to know Colton, his family and friends.  It’s a story that won’t leave me for a long time, and I would highly recommend this book to just about anybody.

(Author’s website can be found here.)

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