Fans of Willa Cather may be intrigued by the much more grown-up Little Century, by Anna Keesey. Advertised as a western, this novel may be overlooked by fiction readers. Yes, it is set in the West, Oregon to be specific, but it's no horse opera. The action takes place around the turn of the 20th century
18 year old Esther Chambers is suddenly orphaned and moves to Little Century to live with Ferris Pickett, a distant relative. "Pick" is not an unkind man, but he rather cynically uses Esther to secure a controversial homestead claim on a parcel near his ranch. Soon Esther realizes she has landed in the middle of a range war between the cattle men and the sheep herders. She and those she loves are going to be hurt no matter what she does. Will she choose Pick, laconic family member and potential husband, or Ben Cruff, a young sheepherder with few prospects but much more lovable qualities? Even if you don't usually like westerns, this novel is worth checking out.