The great saga of an American ranching family that gripped readers in the New York Times bestselling novel Hard Country and its sequel, Backlands, concludes in The Last Ranch, the final, mesmerizing novel in Michael McGarrity’s powerful and richly authentic American West trilogy.
When Matthew Kerney returns to his ranch in the remote, beautiful San Andres Mountains of New Mexico, honorably discharged after serving in Sicily during World War II, he must not only endeavor to recover physically and emotionally from a devastating combat injury, but he must also fight attempts by the U.S. Army to seize control of his land for expanded weapons testing. Yet keeping his land is only half the battle as he struggles with an aging father no longer able to carry his load at the ranch, an ex-convict intent on killing him, and a failing relationship with a woman he dearly loves. As Matt’s personal and family life unravels, a punishing drought pushes him to the brink of ruin, and he is forced to draw upon all his mental and physical resources to keep his world—and the people in it—from collapsing.
Spanning the era from World War II to the end of the Vietnam conflict, The Last Ranch enthralls with the deeply rich, sometimes heartbreaking Kerney family saga as it steps brilliantly into the mid-twentieth-century world of the new American West.
In the New York Times bestselling Hard Country, Michael McGarrity gave readers “an expansive, lyrical period Western in the tradition of A. B. Guthrie Jr. and Larry McMurtry” (Hampton Sides). Now McGarrity continues his richly authentic epic of life on the last vestiges of the twentieth-century American frontier.
Scarred by the loss of an older brother he idolized, estranged from a father he barely knows, and deeply troubled by the failing health of a mother he adores, young Matthew Kerney is suddenly and irrevocably forced to set aside his childhood and take on responsibilities far beyond his years. When the world spirals into the Great Depression and drought settles like a plague over the nation, Matt must abandon his own dreams to salvage the Kerney ranch. Plunged into a deep trough of dark family secrets, hidden crimes, broken promises, and lies, Matt must struggle to survive on the unforgiving, sun-blasted Tularosa Basin.
A richly authentic epic adventure of rough-hewn men and courageous women, set in the hard country of the American Southwest frontier.
Hard Country is a rare and extraordinary story of one family’s struggle to settle and endure in the vast, untamed territory of New Mexico.
In the wake of the death of his wife as she gives birth to his son, and the killing of his brother on the West Texas plains, John Kerney is forced to give up his ranch, leave his son behind, and strike out in search of the murderous outlaws and a place where he can start over. He drifts south until he meets a man who offers him work trailing cattle to the New Mexico Territory and forever changes his life.
Spanning the years of 1875 to 1918, Hard Country is the Western reinvented and enlarged into a saga that above all celebrates the people and the land of the great Southwest.