In 1964 Annick Smith came to Montana with her husband, Dave, and their boys. In a fertile valley where meadows tip downward toward the Big Blackfoot River, they found what they had dreamed of: 163 acres of ranchland with a view of a creek, hills, and the Rattlesnake Mountains. The Montana of which Annick Smith writes in this spirited and generous book is the not-so-distant West of outlaws and pioneers, range inspectors and cattle thieves.
From her friendship with Norman Maclean, author of A River Runs Through It, to a tragedy that forced her to make her life anew in the open spaces of her home, Annick Smith’s powerful spirit and her devotion to the land she loves shine through in a remarkable memoir.
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Praise and Prizes
“Annick Smith commands the Western spirit in her tough and tender prose. Through her stories we enter a remarkable labyrinth of landscape and culture and what it means to grow into Montana. Homestead is a book of strength. Smith is a writer with spine.”
“These are clear-sighted, alluring, often genuinely luminous essays, by a writer for whom the form seems as natural as speaking.”
“Here is a woman to admire and love. ‘You can fall in love with space and sky,’ Annick Smith writes. ‘A girl from Chicago can go west and find mountains.’ In Homestead Smith gives us the whole vivid Montana scene: ranchers, wildlife biologists, poets and country bands, good neighbors, horses and trout. A passionate story, beautifully told.”
“Homestead is both keenly personal and resonant of that timeless story, west-coming. It instantly belongs on the same honored bookshelf with Elinore Pruitt Stewart’s Letters of a Woman Homesteader.”
“Annick Smith’s poignant memoir of coming to live in Montana is about love and loss and love again. Not just human love, but the deep mark a place can make on us. The stillness of a Montana winter is in her prose, as are the wild love-songs of spring. Homestead is a delight.”
“Homestead makes a wonderful addition to the growing body of Western women’s memoirs. The view is excellent, the air and water clear. And you will find your visit with Annick Smith to be truly worthwhile.”
“Powerful . . . Perfect for those who love rugged country and understand that wild places own us more than we own them.”