Book: In Open Spaces

Set in the prairies of eastern Montana from 1916 to 1946, In Open Spaces is about the lives of the Arbuckle brothers. First we meet George, a man on the brink of baseball stardom, whose life ends unexpectedly under mysterious circumstances. Jack, the black sheep of the brothers and a WWI vet, returns to the family after a lengthy disappearing act, only to try and reclaim the family ranch. There’s Bob, the youngest of the four, whose new marriage seems to build barriers between himself and the rest of the family. And then we have beleaguered Blake, whose keen awareness of Jack’s actions causes him to wonder if Jack had anything to do with George’s death. As the story unravels, we watch the brothers’ lives become more entangled in a web of turbulent family dynamics. Who will run the ranch? Who will escape the pressure of family? Who is telling the truth? Through Blake, the narrator, Rowland delivers a rich and compassionate narration, and the result is a book you simply can’t put down.