Mustang Spring: Stories and Poems
by Deanna Dickinson McCall

The Frontier Project Inc., 2012. ISBN 978-0-985-34253-1.
Reviewed by Trilla Pando
Posted on 06/23/2014

Fiction: Mainstream; Poetry

Deanna Dickinson McCall has good sense. Make that good senses. She has common sense and knows how to deal with tough situations. She has a sense of story, whether in prose or in poetry. She has a sense of sharing and is not afraid to place intimate and tough details on the page.

Most of all, she has a sense of place, the place that she loves. That is the wild, lonely ranching country stretching from West Texas across New Mexico and westward. She was born there; she lives there still. Her life is a life of ranching. (Yes, for McCall ranching is an active verb.)

The book captures this tough life in both stories and poems. A few are fun, like "The Hired Hand," a poem McCall assures her reader is based on her own experience. It will bring a smile, but others will bring a tear. Imagine a life in this rugged country, more than fifteen miles from the nearest phone, ten miles from the next neighbor, young children in the house, a raging storm outside, and no fuel. Dad must get on his horse and go for help. I assure you once you begin "Snowy Ride" you will not put the book down.

I grew up in the ranching land of the Texas Panhandle. After reading Mustang Spring, I feel as if I've had a trip home, as will any reader who knows the country. For those to whom this land is unexplored territory, a new and fascinating world will open up.

Mustang Spring was a finalist in the 2013 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards. Justly so.

Born into a ranching family, Deanna Dickinson McCall carries on the tradition. She raised her family on a Nevada ranch that had neither electricity nor telephone. She now ranches with her husband and son in the Sacramento Mountains of New Mexico. Learn more about McCall on her website.

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