Rating: 5 Stars
Like so many rural places in our great country, Shenandoah County is plagued by recession, businesses closing, homes lying vacant, and people moving on to find work elsewhere. But for the Howard family, business at the Wild Pony Ranch is booming and they love their ranch and the county they’ve occupied for generations.
When a mysterious developer arrives, offering salvation to Shenandoah, the entire area is on board and would do anything to please this new prospect for prosperity and revitalization of their home. But John (Cowboy) Howard, patriarch and owner of Wild Pony Ranch smells a rat and when he confronts the developer at the town meeting, all hell breaks loose.
The Howard family is attentive and conscious about the environment and the surrounding community, employing locals and using only local businesses for supplies, advertising, etc., however the questions asked at the town meeting send the developer running and their neighbors quickly turn on the family, some using violent force, others by shunning them in very un-neighborly ways.
The Howards respond to these actions by withdrawing their support of the local businesses and the community in general, at first this came off a bit like childish retribution, but then I thought: What would I do? The community the Howards loved and supported had turned into bullies, and as the story progressed, I enjoyed the nature of the Howard’s responses to the community they’d been part of and supported for generations.
When the developer shows back up and declares that his project is going forward, John and his remaining friends decide to investigate and then all hell really, really breaks loose!
The author’s ability (and talent) to describe the scenery, smells, lighting and everything else about the Shenandoah Valley is remarkable, at certain points I felt like I was actually there, breathing in the crisp mountain air and smelling the late winter foliage.
This book was provided to me for free for an honest and unbiased review (see all our reviews at http://www.bookexplosions.com/ or on Goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/131875-book-explosions )