"I’ll be sitting in my corner office—like I’m doing now— tinted glass from floor to ceiling, watching the sun drop behind the boxy horizon of Las Vegas skyscrapers and anticipating the neon dawn of evening, when for no good reason an image of my father will appear. A cloud, a shadow, a reflection, and there he is relaxed forward in the saddle atop Moots, his palomino gelding, arms crossed over the horn, looking amused to find himself surrounded by glass and steel. Moots stands lazily, his long-lashed lids drooping over soft brown eyes, one back leg bent so my father tilts slightly to the right. Dad holds an easy smile and seems as if he has something to tell me. On a good day, I’ll lean back with a cup of tea gone cold, kick my heels off to prop my feet on the garbage can, and exhort him to speak. And he does. Soft and soothing, like he’s speaking to a ten-year-old. 'How you doing, Katydid?' he says to me. I smile and tell him I’m doing fine, and for a moment we both believe it."
Ona—Kate’s quiet ranching aunt
"Sometimes, when a spring day turns unexpectedly warm and the house feels like an unrinsed plastic milk jug lying in the sun, I set a lawn chair in the fine dirt under the budding cottonwoods on the west side a the working pens and ponder the perplexities a life. From here, I can watch the goings on a Nate, Nell, and Skinny. Today they’re preg testing cows. I don’t spend much a my time this way, mind you, I have work a my own to get done. But every so often I sit here just to chew on things awhile."
Nell—Kate’s cranky ranching mother
"If an old woman pushing up against the far end a life has any sense at all, she won’t spend too many a her few remaining days trying to figure out how things ended up the way they did. Apparently I ain’t got that kinda sense. Course it don’t help that all the folks in Omer Springs are asking me, “What’s going on with Katie?” as if that’s a question can be answered with some degree a certainty like the current price a hay. When I shrug in response, folks get downright snippety. “She’s your daughter, Nell!” they proclaim as if that’s something mighta slipped my mind."
Cassie—Kate’s college-age daughter
"There’s something about a Nevada whorehouse can make a girl weepy around the edges. Near the third pass of Waylon Jennings’ Honky Tonk Heroes, I can barely talk myself into sticking with the plan. I do have a plan—a long-range plan. . . .
To be honest, and I almost always am, my long-range plan is short on details. It basically consists of sitting on a barstool in a Carson City brothel until Mama and Grandma Nell start speaking to each other. How long that might take is anyone’s guess. But this idea that they can use me as a conduit to communicate—if you want to call it that—instead of speaking directly is beginning to piss me off. In fact, both of them as good as drove me here themselves. And if I’ve inherited anything from them at all, it’s their obstinacy. I don’t know what happens when three stubborn women each take up ground waiting for the others to move, but I aim to find out.
Everybody pretends this is all about water rights and Mama’s job with the Nevada Water Authority, but I know damn well there’s more to it. Not that water isn’t enough to tear families apart in this state. I’ve seen grown men beat each other bloody over a diverted irrigation ditch. But I’ve been watching Mama and Grandma Nell all my life, and over the span of those twenty-one years, their conversations have been steadily dwindling like a spring creek at the end of a long, hot summer. It seems the two of them have simply exhausted themselves, run underground. So I have to ask myself: what is it between them that takes so much effort? I don’t know the answer to that yet, but I intend to find out. Hence, my radical—and possibly impulsive—plan. I know of only one thing that will undoubtedly force them to the surface. Me. More specifically, my safekeeping. What better threat to an innocent girl’s welfare, I figure, than a Carson City whorehouse?"
I hope you’ll read this novel. And read this article to learn about the pipeline. And visit the Goshute’s website to meet the people this pipeline will harm. We need to raise a ruckus.