Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Claiming Ground - a review

Last Thursday, in celebration of National Library Week, author Laura Bell discussed her memoir, Claiming Ground at Central Wyoming College. 

My neighbor gave me the book last summer, and after reading it, I shared it with my knitting group. I enjoyed Laura's unique, almost lyrical, writing style, the vivid descriptions, and her unexpected adventures, which mostly took place in Wyoming. 

Several audience members on Thursday mentioned that Laura's speaking/reading voice matched what they "heard" when they read the book. 

Claiming Ground begins with Laura's first adventure after graduating from college in 1977 -  herding sheep at an isolated sheep camp in Wyoming's Big Horn Basin. She invites the reader to share the joys and sorrows of her life as she wanders from place to place, working as a sheep herder, a ranch hand, a forest ranger, an outfitter, a masseuse, a wife and a mother. I was in awe of her independence and courage, especially working in fields that are traditionally dominated by men. 

On Thursday, Laura read excerpts from Claiming Ground, explained the process of turning her diaries and journals into a memoir, and answered questions. 

In addition to the hardcover edition, an audio version is also available. It will be offered in paperback this week. 


  1. Sounds like a good book. I always enjoy reading about strong women :)

  2. Sounds interesting. I'll have to check it out.

  3. I'll have to check whether the library has that book. Sounds amazing... I can't imagine being a sheep herder... of course, I also haven't lived in ranching country... I a suburban girl for sure!

  4. Thanks for telling us about this author and her book, Claiming Ground. I found it at my library so will read it soon. :-D


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