Published on Tuesday, November 1, 2011
The Ranch Next Door and Other Stories
By Elisabeth Grace Foley
Reviewed by Matthew Pizzolato
The archetypal Western story generally tends to follow a revenge plot line. By that measure, THE RANCH NEXT DOOR AND OTHER STORIES by Elisabeth Grace Foley is not a collection of typical Westerns. It is however, seven wonderfully told short stories that will hold your attention until the last word.
While they involve some gun-play, these stories aren't the classic shoot-em up Western that made the genre famous. They are instead character studies, and there is even a sprinkling of romance thrown in for good measure.
"The Ranch Next Door" is a Romeo and Juliet tale told Western style involving cowmen and sheepherders. In "Cross My Heart," Jerry Heath struggles with betraying the trust of a long-time friend who shows up at his ranch with
lawmen on his trail. "Delayed Deposit" is fraught with tension as a bank robbery turns into a hostage situation. "A Rangeland Renaissance" is another tale with a twist of romance, but one that will bring a smile to your face. "The Outlaw's Wife" is an excellent story with a twist at the end you won't see coming.
With THE RANCH NEXT DOOR AND OTHER STORIES, Foley injects a breath of fresh air into the Western genre. These stories are ripe with themes and morals that will stick with you after you've read them.