B. M.(Bertha Muzzy) Bower (1871–1940), the first woman to make a career of writing popular westerns like Chip of the Flying U, lived on a ranch in Montana and knew from experience Val’s situation, her awakening and embrace of the unconventional. Originally published in 1912, Lonesome Land is an extraordinary novel, perhaps Bower’s best. She was decades ahead of her time in taking on the subjects of divorce and spouse abuse. Pam Houston is the author of Cowboys Are My Weakness: Stories, winner of the 1993 Western States Book Award. She lives in Colorado near the headwaters of the Rio Grande.