Big River Meadows: Eviction from Eden is a novella based on a true story written by W. David Jones, M.D. He tells the story of his father’s boyhood—a rancher’s son growing up on a large Montana spread. The story propounds that the vigilante law of the old West prevailed as late as 1927.
This intriguing historical event retold by Dr. Jones is an attempt to resolve persistent mysterious rumors that involve revenge, murder, and retribution that took place on the family ranch all stemming from unintentional yearning for romance and sexual desire created out of the harsh reality of ranch life.
Jones’ characters pull the reader into their world of endless gritty ranch work, into the unrelenting tedium of the chores of women’s work, into their uneasy relationships made inevitable by the beautiful but unforgiving landscape of Montana, and into their hopes and dreams that remain in sight, but just temptingly out of grasp.
Narration, the majority written from a lad’s point of view, is mixed with action that describes the driving forces necessary for Montana ranch life. The smoke of the branding fires, the pristine beauty of the countryside, and the imposing presence of the looming Rocky Mountains envelop the reader.
The author cleverly uses chronology shifts to reveal a pivotal event at the beginning of the novel. Dr. Jones continues to keep the reader turning pages with increasing tension to discover the incidents that led to the event. Several shifting points of view place the reader within the minds of key characters and reveal their motivations.
Embedded in the writing is a sensory richness that conveys the history of the ranch, the equipment and technology of the time, the means and ways of daily living, and the code by which family and neighbors stood by each other.
In this reviewer’s opinion, many will enjoy reading this historical account of Montana ranch life—perhaps more than once. Big River Meadows: Eviction from Eden wraps itself around the cause and effect of choices made and how effects of these choices ripple throughout lives and destinies.