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Faster Horses, by Judith Clayton Van

Oregon, 1999. Annie Butler’s grandmother has just died, and her mother is threatening to sell the family ranch and all Annie holds dear. Annie’s determination to save the land and secure her home sets her on a darkly comic journey through the old west and the new.

Annie’s quest leads to her 1950’s childhood when abandoned by her father and rodeo-star mother she is sent to her grandparents’ horse ranch. She loves the ranch, but soon realizes that all is not as it seems. Probing deeper, Annie recalls her early struggles to match her mother’s image and navigate the dangerous world of rodeo and moneyed show rings while dodging her violent uncle Jack. At fourteen, Annie is racing illegal hot rods and enthusiastically pursuing a man twice her age.

Much later, Annie’s efforts result in a violent family showdown and a fatal decision.

Teeming with faster horses, faster cars and faster women, this coming-of-age tale, first of the four-book Oregon Series, smashes the bounds of genre as it follows Annie’s wild ride across the Oregon countryside and beyond.

Will Annie save the ranch and find a home? Will her pioneer ancestors ever forgive her freewheeling ways?

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