The Widow Smalls and Other Stories
A Short Story Collection from Award Winning Author Jamie Lisa Forbes
Thirty years of browbeating from rancher Bud Smalls has penned his wife, Leah, into emotional isolation. Now Bud is gone and Leah owns the ranch, but there is no help forthcoming from Bud’s brothers who want to force her out and take the ranch for themselves. When their attempt to humiliate her instead becomes her opportunity to succeed, Leah begins to find her way back to herself and learns how much she can gain by opening her heart.
The Widow Smalls is just one of the stories in this collection by the WILLA Award winning author of Unbroken, Jamie Lisa Forbes, who writes about the hardships of making a living from the land with an understanding that comes from first-hand experience. Her deftly drawn characters include star-crossed lovers, a young rancher facing his first test of moral courage, an inscrutable ranch hand claiming an impressive relative, a father making one last grasp for his daughter’s love and a child’s struggle to make sense of the world around her. Each will pull readers into the middle of their stories and keep them turning the pages.
Winner of the 2015 High Plains Book Award
Praise for The Widow Smalls
Each of the stories is a good read, but the story about Leah Smalls, “The Widow Small,” is the one that I enjoyed the most. As an older person, the thoughts she processes are much like my wife and I have discussed, many times, should one or the other of us “go first.” Real-life experiences on the ranch are what I enjoy reading, along with the relationships among family members. These relationships are always filled with surprised, even though from experience we should know what to expect from these people. However, in these circumstances, when you hope they will act in your best interest, is when they act most in their self-interest – as is the case with the brothers-in-law, here. This is so very familiar… and presented in just the right tone and spirit through the story.
The addition of the Julian character adds immensely to this story, and makes it truly special. The added dimensions through her relationship with him makes this story a real winner. I can only say “Thank you” for sharing these stories with us! —William Leverne, Goodreads
…Each story unfolds like a unique journey, and as each story ended I couldn’t wait to see where the next story might take me.—W V Stitcher
I do not usually read short story collections, but the subject of early ranching piqued my interest. I’m glad I stepped out of my comfort zone, because I discovered a very talented writer in Jamie Lisa Forbes. Forbes paints pictures with her words, being able to make the reader feel, taste, smell, hear and see what is happening. There are no cliché’s in her writing, and no worn-out analogies. She has discovered original ways of showing the scenes, the characters and the action.
I look forward to reading more of Jamie Lisa Forbes’ work. —Terri Curtis
This book is truly a must read for everyone. It is a page turner from start to finish. I really enjoyed reading it. I gave it 5 stars but wish I could’ve given it more. I highly recommend it to everyone. —Marjorie Boyd-Springer