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Falling from Horses By Molly Gloss (Mariner Books)

Oregon writing professor and award-winning author, Molly Gloss, brilliantly captures the spirit of a 1930s movie cowboy and his pony in her book Falling from Horses.  Nineteen-year-old ranch hand Bud Frazer sets out for Hollywood with dreams of being a western star. It’s tough for Bud to leave his birthplace at Echol Creek, the ranch, and his parents who grieve the loss of his little sister, but he sets his sights on becoming a stunt rider in the movies — and working alongside the great screen cowboys of his youth.  Along the way, Bud meets an ambitious, talented screenwriter named Lily and their relationship grows as each try to make their mark on the motion picture industry.  A sad sidelight to Bud’s story is the account of the movie industry’s treatment of horses.  The camaraderie between the stuntman and the writer is enchanting and as their careers and friendships develop, a tragic secret is realized.  Gloss’s book is endearing and the description of the rough-riding will stay with readers long after the story has ended.

Reviews by Chris Enss, COWGIRL Book Editor, and a New York Times bestselling author who writes about women of the Old West.