Michael McGarrity’s Backlands ... a review

“Backlands continues the story of Patrick Kerney; his
ex-wife, Emma; and their young son, Matthew, shortly
after the tragic battlefield death of the eldest son, CJ, at
the end of World War I. Scarred by the loss of an older
brother he idolized, estranged from a father he barely
knows, and deeply troubled by the failing health of a
mother he adores, eight-year-old Matthew is suddenly
and irrevocably forced to set aside his childhood and
take on responsibilities far beyond his years. When the
world spirals into the Great Depression and drought
settles like a plague over the nation, Matthew must
abandon his own dreams to salvage the Kerney ranch.
Plunged into a deep trough of dark family secrets, hidden
crimes, broken promises, and lies, Matthew must
struggle to survive on the unforgiving, sun-blasted
Tularosa Basin.”
                                                ~~ {From the book cover 

Michael McGarrity’s Backlands, the 2nd in a trilogy continues the family saga of the Kerney’s who make their living ranching on the Tularosa in southern New Mexico. McGarrity makes a fine historical writer covering several events including the market crash of ‘29, the depression, the Civilian Conservation Corps, and WWII and how they affected ranchers during those times.
The use of era appropriate language is fascinating and the prose is smooth and easygoing. Even with 500 or so pages, readers will fly through this well paced story with rapt interest.

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