Montana 1948

Montana 1948

A Novel

Book - 1993
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"From the summer of my twelfth year I carry a series of images more vivid and lasting than any others of my boyhood and indelible beyond all attempts the years make to erase or fade them...". So begins David Hayden's story of what happened in Montana in 1948. The events of that cataclysmic summer permanently alter twelve-year-old David's understanding of his family: his father, a small-town sheriff; his remarkably strong mother; the Hayden's Sioux housekeeper, Marie Little Soldier, whose revelations are at the heart of the story; David's uncle, a war hero and respected doctor. As their story unravels around David, he learns that truth is not what you believe it to be, that power is abused, and that sometimes you have to choose between family loyalty and justice. In a voice as brilliantly clear as the eastern Montana sky, Larry Watson has created a completely new American classic. With nearly perfect pitch, Watson evokes a time, a place, and more: a story whose pages will not stop, turning, because its characters will not let them.
Publisher: Minneapolis, Minn. : Milkweed Editions, c1993.
ISBN: 9780915943135
Branch Call Number: WATS
Characteristics: 175 p. 22 cm.


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Jan 24, 2020

“What it means to be a peace officer in Montana is 'knowing when to look and when to look away.” David’s father couldn’t look away. A short but powerful book about doing the right thing even if you have to go against family. Told by 12 year old David, this is a solemn coming of age story about the summer that changed his family’s life. Concise but well written. I liked it.

Mar 13, 2019

A novella set in a small town and centered around the theme of loyalty and justice in one particular family.
Great writing. Riveting story.

Dec 10, 2018

Read this book as part of the new book club, would not ordinarily have picked it as do not read much fiction. It did grab me with the interests of the varied protagonists, the feel of claustrophobia of a small town, the limited options for both men and women during that time period, and especially the moral decision that the sheriff had to make between doing the right thing and tearing up his family. The effect WW2 had on the culture was interesting too, how unfairly a man was treated if he didn't fight even if he was too disabled to fight.
The rights of First American women are still being denied in the justice system, it would have been nice to have been able to say "Well things are so much better for them now".

Dec 04, 2018

The story will not let you go as you read it. The first book that I read from the school library.

Aug 31, 2018

On of the best books I have read this year. Characterization wonderful. Gripping plot.

May 21, 2018

Reminded me of the literary style of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. Watson's central narrator is, supposedly, a teacher (age 52ish) who is looking back at life in Montana in 1948 when he was age 12. I loved the book: could not set it down! Well written story!

Jul 31, 2016

Worthy of the acclaim and national book awards it has received. Couldn't put it down!

Aug 26, 2005

When we first meet David Hayden he is a grown man, but the person we come to know is a much younger David. Looking for truth and considering the world to be black and white, young David is shocked at finding the skeletons of abuse and racism that are a part of his family. His father, the local sheriff, must make some hard decisions regarding family loyalty and justice. In the end, the harsh light of reality reveals a secret strength that David never knew he or his family had. This award winning novel tells a story in a manner that matches the landscape of Montana; full of small gullies and everything is not as exposed as you might think.


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