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by Jana Richman

JANA RICHMAN, a sixth-generation Utahn, was born and raised in Utah’s west desert. She writes about issues that threaten to destroy the essence of the west: overpopulation, overdevelopment, rapidly dwindling water aquifers, stupidity, ignorance, arrogance and greed. She also writes about passion, beauty, and love. She is the author of the memoir, Riding in the Shadows of Saints: A Woman’s Story of Motorcycling the Mormon Trail, and the novel, The Last Cowgirl, winner of the Willa Award for contemporary fiction. She lives in Escalante, Utah, with her husband, writer and transpersonal therapist Steve Defa.

Author Website


When Nell Jorgensen buried her husband after a hunting accident in 1975, she buried a piece of herself, her relationship with her daughter, and more than one secret along with him. Now, thirty-six years later, her granddaughter, Cassie, intends to unearth those secrets and repair those relationships, but she’s unprepared for what she finds. Set in the sparse and beautiful landscape of Nevada’s Spring Valley and Schell Creek Mountains, yet steeped in the realities of the colliding urban and rural worlds of the West, award-winning author Jana Richman brings us an emotional journey of love, loss, and family.

November 2012 | Fiction | 978-1-937226-06-0 | 302 pp | $16.95

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“With tough women and sensitive men, desert-dry humor, hot-springs sensuality, heartbreaking secrets, escalating suspense, and a 360-degree perspective on the battle over water, Richman’s twenty-first-century western is riveting, wise, and compassionate.”
BOOKLIST, starred review

“[Richman’s]  narrative account of the impact of climate change on those that live in the worst affected areas—human and animal alike—is an emotional prophecy of what lies in store for all of us.”

"A compelling story of a ranching family divided by a proposed water pipeline that would draw water from western Utah to Las Vegas."


"Richman helps readers understand and feel deeply each side of a complex story."


“With a unique voice, Richman crystallizes how secrets and silences flow through the generations . . . with depth of characters, beauty of language, and a haunting understanding of the landscapes that define us.”
—JANE KIRKPATRICK, bestselling author of Where Lilacs Still Bloom


“A page-turner of a story about love and loyalty, loss and regret—and, ultimately, the stunning absolution of the simple truth. Richman writes with the sure hand of a formidable storyteller.”
—STEPHEN TRIMBLE, author of Bargaining for Eden


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