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The Homesman opens in the 1850s, when early pioneers are doing anything they can to survive dreadful conditions. Women especially struggle with broken hearts and minds as they face bitter hardships: One nineteen-year-old mother loses her three children to diphtheria in three days; another woman left alone for two nights is forced to shoot wolves to protect herself. The situation calls for a "homesman"-a person charged with taking these women, driven mad by the conditions of rural life, to asylums in the East. Not exactly a job people are lining up for, it falls to Mary Bee Cuddy, an ex-teacher and spinster, who is indomitable, resourceful, and "plain as an old tin pail." Brave as she is, Mary Bee knows she can't make it alone, so she takes along her only available companion: the lowlife and untrustworthy George Briggs. Mary Bee and George know it won't be easy, but their endurance is truly tested as they fight the tide of colonization, Indian attacks, ice storms, loneliness, and the unceasing aggravation of a disparate group of mad women. This is the tale of their journey and a tribute to the men and women who homesteaded the frontier, whether they survived or not.
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About the Author

Glendon Swarthout wrote sixteen novels, many of which were bestsellers and were made into films, among them Seventh Cavalry, They Came to Cordura, Where the Boys Are, Bless the Beasts & Children, and A Christmas to Remember. He was twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in fiction and won a number of other awards, including the Western Writers Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Reviews

"One of Swarthout'sb best... An absorbing epic of endurance."--Kirkus "No reader should even attempt to guess what happens. Surprise piles upon surprise... Glendon Swarthout has honed writing excellence to a nearly unsurpassable level... A powerful novel... A classic of vivid realism and gripping storytelling."--Associated Press "A finely crafted novel... told with smooth economy... re-creates a seamless and sccurate territorial Nebraska... with character so real the reader resents it when one dies."--Kansas City Star "I tell friends what "The Homesman" is about and their eyes open wide and they can't wait to read it. And that's just the plot. Swarthout puts you "there," in time and place. I love the way he writes."--Elmore Leonard "Totally involving from its very first words... a dangerous journey into the soul, an exploration of the relationships of men and women to each other, to their environments and--ultimately most devastatingly--to themselves."--Los Angeles Times Book Review "I tell friends what The Homesman is about and their eyes open wide and they can't wait to read it. And that's just the plot. Swarthout puts you there, in time and place. I love the way he writes."--Elmore Leonard

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