Wyoming Book Reviews

Wilderness Fever: A Family’s Adventures Homesteading in Early Jackson Hole, 1914-1924
By Linda Preston McKinstry with Harold Cole McKinstry
Glendo, Wyo.: High Plains Press, 2016

Imagine leaving the city to homestead in a rural and relatively unknown part of the country. Today, this may sound like a dream come true but imagine that life without electricity, telephones, or even automobiles. Wilderness Fever is a wonderful collection of memoirs by Linda and Harold “Mac” McKinstry who did just that. They left the comforts of Washington D.C. for a shot at homesteading in the Jackson Hole area for ten years. Linda and Mac share their unique experiences and points of view on trying to live and raise a family in the harsh conditions of North Western Wyoming. Modern homesteaders and city dwellers alike will find that there is much to be grateful for after reading how early homesteaders’ lives were easily impacted by much more than unpredictable weather and rough terrain. Everything from the introduction of modern technologies such as the telephone to the development of Yellowstone National Park guided homestead decision-making. This book will drive home just how brave and tenacious early homesteaders had to be in order to survive.

Sydney Bays, Library Assistant
Sublette County Library

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared For the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds
by Abbie Johnson Taylor
Denver, Colo.: DLD Books, 2016

My Ideal Partner is the true story of one woman’s love, struggles, heartache, personal growth, and loss. Newlywed Abbie’s happily-ever-after was shattered when her husband Bill suffered two debilitating strokes, leaving him unable to care for himself. In the course of three months, Abbie went from being a single, independent, visually-challenged adult to being a bride, a newlywed, and ultimately caregiver to her husband. In sharing her hardships, Abbie sheds light on many of the challenges caregivers face. Her difficult journey is both unique and yet universal. While this is Abbie’s story, it is also the story of many others who find their lives drastically changed when they become caregivers to the people they love. The subject matter is tough, but Taylor’s writing style is relaxed and conversational, making this a quick read. Perhaps because this was her first serious relationship, her descriptions of her relationship with Bill are told with the innocence of someone much younger. Grab a box of Kleenex! This is a powerful story that readers on an emotional journey, and has the power to move them to both tears and laughter.

Lisa Scroggins, Executive Director
Natrona County Library

 

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