Claiming Ground

Claiming Ground

In 1977, Laura Bell, at loose ends after graduating from college, leaves her family home in Kentucky for a wild and unexpected adventure: herding sheep in Wyoming?s Big Horn Basin. Inexorably drawn to this life of solitude and physical toil, a young woman in a man?s world, she is perhaps the strangest member of this beguiling community of drunks and eccentrics. So begins h In 1977, Laura Bell, at loose ends after graduating from college, leaves her family home in Kentucky for a wild and u...

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Title:Claiming Ground
Author:Laura Bell
Rating:
Genres:Autobiography
ISBN:0307272885
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:256 pages pages

Claiming Ground Reviews

  • Ariel
    Sep 01, 2018

    5+? I'd like to share what beloved author Kent Haruf wrote about this memoir because I cannot do it justice. ?This is a book that compels you to the last sentence, both because of its sheer beauty and its profound meaning. It goes deep and way out to the edge, in beautifully co...

    With a heart as large as the "big sky" country she writes of, Laura Bell writes a memoir that intertwines a sense of place and the sense of what it means to be alive. Bell recounts her years working with sheep and cows in Wyoming, living a spartan life from a material standpoint, bu...

    This book was beautifully written, and the author's love of nature, animals, and her adopted state of Wyoming and the West comes shining through on every page, but as a memoir, it was just okay. The author was honest about a lot of things, but secretive and reluctant about others, whic...

    Oh my goodness. This book washed over me like a spring rain, and I feel healed, awed, thunderstruck and new. It's a watercolor in book form, as Bell draws the words, the mountains form, the predawn mist rising reveals the woman, her horse and her dogs. We're immersed in the world she c...

    Whoever the critic was was that pronounced the death of the memoir was just plain wrong. Laura Bell's "Claiming Ground" is a wonderful, passionate clear-eyed look at one womans life that will resonate with the reader for many reasons - if the dictum that the "unexamined life isn't wort...

    People live such interesting lives. It must take a great amount of motivation and drive to put to paper the occurrences, thoughts and feelings of one's own life. And perhaps a measure of faith to think that someone else might find the telling of such a life worth reading. Ms. Bell h...

    What I recall of the author was a lovely little girl who liked to ride horses. Laura was one of five children of a preacher my family and I adored. Each child was different, talented, intelligent. Marsha, the sister that was my age was exuberant and fun to be around...Laura was younger...

    There is flea market in Laramie south of Interstate 80. Much of it is a warren of eight by eight cubicles some of which are filled with little more than yard sale cast-offs while others contain what would be considered treasure vaults by collectors of one type or another. Meandering...

    I wanted so much to rate this book higher because of the locale, the subject, the author. But why did Bell have to be so obscure? The pictures in my minds eye were never complete; I was always having to reread and think and pause and reread trying to figure out where she was and what w...

    I'll admit that I'm a sucker for most books reviewed on NPR, and many times disappointed. Perhaps because every now and then, I stumble across a story that moves my very soul. Laura Bell is not an eloquent writer, nor is she well seasoned. It's the rawness and emotional exposure that s...

    This was exactly what I needed to read right now. Spare and solemn, this memoir reflected a lot of my own feelings of loss and of disappointment and deep yearning to find my place in this world. But in experiencing a reminder of those feelings, I am also reminded of the conviction that...

    Beautifully-written memoir by a woman who goes out to Wyoming and becomes a sheep herder, among other interesting jobs. I loved this book. ...

    I listened to this book on audio over a month or so of driving to errands. The narration was great and the story my favorite kind - a memoir complete with a deep sense of place. Books like this make me understand the West whose landscape, while beautiful, often seems alien to me. ...

    In _Claiming Ground_, Laura Bell captures pitch-perfectly the essence of Wyoming land and life. Both spare and lyrical, her style paints painfully accurate images of a life spent on the high plains. I found myself reading passages aloud to my Wyoming-born partner, who agreed that Bell ...

    This book was a mixed bag. The author was eloquent in her descriptions of life in a way that pulled me in and made my heart ache to be back there. I have rarely seen someone who can capture the essence of a place so well as she painted word pictures of the landscape, weather, lifestyle...

    While much of this book was stunningly well-written, the part that I expected to like (young woman on her own herding sheep in Wyoming in the late 70s/early 80s) didn't draw me in, and I almost gave up after about 50 pages. The matter-of-fact, unemotional narrative is extremely effecti...

    An amazing communication of a land, its dimensions--weather, smells--if you could slowly run your hand over the border between Wyoming and Montana, east of Yellowstone, it would feel like Bell's account. Link that sense with the gradual revelation of her soul, without sentimentality, a...

    I set the book down as I finished it thinking it was a gift to have read it. This kind of memoir leaves one in the one down position of having made a great new friend who doesn't know you. [return][return]Bell showed me a side of Wyoming I don't see. I see the belligerent rancher and o...

    If this is just another "wild west" memoir, then I'm the tooth fairy. Those of you that know me will be surprised that I loved reading this book. I got seriously invested in several of the characters and most of the "situations". I laughed, and cried, at the correct moments. For some r...

    This had the feel of a collection of personal essays, more than a narrative memoir. Bell's story was interesting, but I found myself wanting to know more of the people and the stories. Her focus was instead on the land and the language she was using. It was an excellent example of that...

    Wonderfully written. The descriptions of ranch life, raising sheep and cattle, as well as Wyoming landscapes and people are spot-on. ...

    Amazing life and written beautifully ...

    I have always been a sucker for a good nature memoir. The writing in this book is solid so I spread out the book for a long time - a chapter a night (or, if I was busy with other books, even longer). The loosely connected chapters each deal with a part of her life - her sheep herdi...

    Claiming Ground moved me. Laura Bell has a way of sharing deeply intimate experiences without having to directly say what they are. She possesses this delicate balance of exposing harsh truths without excuses or blame. She weaves her life through the beauty of Wyoming with ease. It tru...

    I feel so lucky to have stumbled onto this unusual memoir of a life I could never have imagined. To choose the rough life of a sheep-herder in the harsh, wild landscape of Wyoming as a young woman takes an adventurous spirit, courage and incredible grit. Bell is a deft writer, tenderly...

    4.5 stars, pushing 5. I read a lot of ?people outside in the wilderness, grappling with their demons? memoirs. This one stands out. The writing is beautiful. Free of cliche, it gets to the nut of a sentiment or emotion. The book is honest about people: their flaws and failings are ...

  • Lauren
    Jul 08, 2011

    5+? I'd like to share what beloved author Kent Haruf wrote about this memoir because I cannot do it justice. ?This is a book that compels you to the last sentence, both because of its sheer beauty and its profound meaning. It goes deep and way out to the edge, in beautifully co...

    With a heart as large as the "big sky" country she writes of, Laura Bell writes a memoir that intertwines a sense of place and the sense of what it means to be alive. Bell recounts her years working with sheep and cows in Wyoming, living a spartan life from a material standpoint, bu...

    This book was beautifully written, and the author's love of nature, animals, and her adopted state of Wyoming and the West comes shining through on every page, but as a memoir, it was just okay. The author was honest about a lot of things, but secretive and reluctant about others, whic...

    Oh my goodness. This book washed over me like a spring rain, and I feel healed, awed, thunderstruck and new. It's a watercolor in book form, as Bell draws the words, the mountains form, the predawn mist rising reveals the woman, her horse and her dogs. We're immersed in the world she c...

    Whoever the critic was was that pronounced the death of the memoir was just plain wrong. Laura Bell's "Claiming Ground" is a wonderful, passionate clear-eyed look at one womans life that will resonate with the reader for many reasons - if the dictum that the "unexamined life isn't wort...

    People live such interesting lives. It must take a great amount of motivation and drive to put to paper the occurrences, thoughts and feelings of one's own life. And perhaps a measure of faith to think that someone else might find the telling of such a life worth reading. Ms. Bell h...

    What I recall of the author was a lovely little girl who liked to ride horses. Laura was one of five children of a preacher my family and I adored. Each child was different, talented, intelligent. Marsha, the sister that was my age was exuberant and fun to be around...Laura was younger...

    There is flea market in Laramie south of Interstate 80. Much of it is a warren of eight by eight cubicles some of which are filled with little more than yard sale cast-offs while others contain what would be considered treasure vaults by collectors of one type or another. Meandering...

    I wanted so much to rate this book higher because of the locale, the subject, the author. But why did Bell have to be so obscure? The pictures in my minds eye were never complete; I was always having to reread and think and pause and reread trying to figure out where she was and what w...

    I'll admit that I'm a sucker for most books reviewed on NPR, and many times disappointed. Perhaps because every now and then, I stumble across a story that moves my very soul. Laura Bell is not an eloquent writer, nor is she well seasoned. It's the rawness and emotional exposure that s...

    This was exactly what I needed to read right now. Spare and solemn, this memoir reflected a lot of my own feelings of loss and of disappointment and deep yearning to find my place in this world. But in experiencing a reminder of those feelings, I am also reminded of the conviction that...

    Beautifully-written memoir by a woman who goes out to Wyoming and becomes a sheep herder, among other interesting jobs. I loved this book. ...

    I listened to this book on audio over a month or so of driving to errands. The narration was great and the story my favorite kind - a memoir complete with a deep sense of place. Books like this make me understand the West whose landscape, while beautiful, often seems alien to me. ...

    In _Claiming Ground_, Laura Bell captures pitch-perfectly the essence of Wyoming land and life. Both spare and lyrical, her style paints painfully accurate images of a life spent on the high plains. I found myself reading passages aloud to my Wyoming-born partner, who agreed that Bell ...

  • Cindy
    Apr 17, 2010

    5+? I'd like to share what beloved author Kent Haruf wrote about this memoir because I cannot do it justice. ?This is a book that compels you to the last sentence, both because of its sheer beauty and its profound meaning. It goes deep and way out to the edge, in beautifully co...

    With a heart as large as the "big sky" country she writes of, Laura Bell writes a memoir that intertwines a sense of place and the sense of what it means to be alive. Bell recounts her years working with sheep and cows in Wyoming, living a spartan life from a material standpoint, bu...

    This book was beautifully written, and the author's love of nature, animals, and her adopted state of Wyoming and the West comes shining through on every page, but as a memoir, it was just okay. The author was honest about a lot of things, but secretive and reluctant about others, whic...

    Oh my goodness. This book washed over me like a spring rain, and I feel healed, awed, thunderstruck and new. It's a watercolor in book form, as Bell draws the words, the mountains form, the predawn mist rising reveals the woman, her horse and her dogs. We're immersed in the world she c...

    Whoever the critic was was that pronounced the death of the memoir was just plain wrong. Laura Bell's "Claiming Ground" is a wonderful, passionate clear-eyed look at one womans life that will resonate with the reader for many reasons - if the dictum that the "unexamined life isn't wort...

    People live such interesting lives. It must take a great amount of motivation and drive to put to paper the occurrences, thoughts and feelings of one's own life. And perhaps a measure of faith to think that someone else might find the telling of such a life worth reading. Ms. Bell h...

    What I recall of the author was a lovely little girl who liked to ride horses. Laura was one of five children of a preacher my family and I adored. Each child was different, talented, intelligent. Marsha, the sister that was my age was exuberant and fun to be around...Laura was younger...

  • Jess
    Mar 19, 2018

    5+? I'd like to share what beloved author Kent Haruf wrote about this memoir because I cannot do it justice. ?This is a book that compels you to the last sentence, both because of its sheer beauty and its profound meaning. It goes deep and way out to the edge, in beautifully co...

    With a heart as large as the "big sky" country she writes of, Laura Bell writes a memoir that intertwines a sense of place and the sense of what it means to be alive. Bell recounts her years working with sheep and cows in Wyoming, living a spartan life from a material standpoint, bu...

    This book was beautifully written, and the author's love of nature, animals, and her adopted state of Wyoming and the West comes shining through on every page, but as a memoir, it was just okay. The author was honest about a lot of things, but secretive and reluctant about others, whic...

    Oh my goodness. This book washed over me like a spring rain, and I feel healed, awed, thunderstruck and new. It's a watercolor in book form, as Bell draws the words, the mountains form, the predawn mist rising reveals the woman, her horse and her dogs. We're immersed in the world she c...

    Whoever the critic was was that pronounced the death of the memoir was just plain wrong. Laura Bell's "Claiming Ground" is a wonderful, passionate clear-eyed look at one womans life that will resonate with the reader for many reasons - if the dictum that the "unexamined life isn't wort...

    People live such interesting lives. It must take a great amount of motivation and drive to put to paper the occurrences, thoughts and feelings of one's own life. And perhaps a measure of faith to think that someone else might find the telling of such a life worth reading. Ms. Bell h...

    What I recall of the author was a lovely little girl who liked to ride horses. Laura was one of five children of a preacher my family and I adored. Each child was different, talented, intelligent. Marsha, the sister that was my age was exuberant and fun to be around...Laura was younger...

    There is flea market in Laramie south of Interstate 80. Much of it is a warren of eight by eight cubicles some of which are filled with little more than yard sale cast-offs while others contain what would be considered treasure vaults by collectors of one type or another. Meandering...

    I wanted so much to rate this book higher because of the locale, the subject, the author. But why did Bell have to be so obscure? The pictures in my minds eye were never complete; I was always having to reread and think and pause and reread trying to figure out where she was and what w...

    I'll admit that I'm a sucker for most books reviewed on NPR, and many times disappointed. Perhaps because every now and then, I stumble across a story that moves my very soul. Laura Bell is not an eloquent writer, nor is she well seasoned. It's the rawness and emotional exposure that s...

    This was exactly what I needed to read right now. Spare and solemn, this memoir reflected a lot of my own feelings of loss and of disappointment and deep yearning to find my place in this world. But in experiencing a reminder of those feelings, I am also reminded of the conviction that...

  • Bronson
    Nov 11, 2017

    5+? I'd like to share what beloved author Kent Haruf wrote about this memoir because I cannot do it justice. ?This is a book that compels you to the last sentence, both because of its sheer beauty and its profound meaning. It goes deep and way out to the edge, in beautifully co...

    With a heart as large as the "big sky" country she writes of, Laura Bell writes a memoir that intertwines a sense of place and the sense of what it means to be alive. Bell recounts her years working with sheep and cows in Wyoming, living a spartan life from a material standpoint, bu...

    This book was beautifully written, and the author's love of nature, animals, and her adopted state of Wyoming and the West comes shining through on every page, but as a memoir, it was just okay. The author was honest about a lot of things, but secretive and reluctant about others, whic...

    Oh my goodness. This book washed over me like a spring rain, and I feel healed, awed, thunderstruck and new. It's a watercolor in book form, as Bell draws the words, the mountains form, the predawn mist rising reveals the woman, her horse and her dogs. We're immersed in the world she c...

    Whoever the critic was was that pronounced the death of the memoir was just plain wrong. Laura Bell's "Claiming Ground" is a wonderful, passionate clear-eyed look at one womans life that will resonate with the reader for many reasons - if the dictum that the "unexamined life isn't wort...

    People live such interesting lives. It must take a great amount of motivation and drive to put to paper the occurrences, thoughts and feelings of one's own life. And perhaps a measure of faith to think that someone else might find the telling of such a life worth reading. Ms. Bell h...

    What I recall of the author was a lovely little girl who liked to ride horses. Laura was one of five children of a preacher my family and I adored. Each child was different, talented, intelligent. Marsha, the sister that was my age was exuberant and fun to be around...Laura was younger...

    There is flea market in Laramie south of Interstate 80. Much of it is a warren of eight by eight cubicles some of which are filled with little more than yard sale cast-offs while others contain what would be considered treasure vaults by collectors of one type or another. Meandering...

    I wanted so much to rate this book higher because of the locale, the subject, the author. But why did Bell have to be so obscure? The pictures in my minds eye were never complete; I was always having to reread and think and pause and reread trying to figure out where she was and what w...

    I'll admit that I'm a sucker for most books reviewed on NPR, and many times disappointed. Perhaps because every now and then, I stumble across a story that moves my very soul. Laura Bell is not an eloquent writer, nor is she well seasoned. It's the rawness and emotional exposure that s...

    This was exactly what I needed to read right now. Spare and solemn, this memoir reflected a lot of my own feelings of loss and of disappointment and deep yearning to find my place in this world. But in experiencing a reminder of those feelings, I am also reminded of the conviction that...

    Beautifully-written memoir by a woman who goes out to Wyoming and becomes a sheep herder, among other interesting jobs. I loved this book. ...

    I listened to this book on audio over a month or so of driving to errands. The narration was great and the story my favorite kind - a memoir complete with a deep sense of place. Books like this make me understand the West whose landscape, while beautiful, often seems alien to me. ...

    In _Claiming Ground_, Laura Bell captures pitch-perfectly the essence of Wyoming land and life. Both spare and lyrical, her style paints painfully accurate images of a life spent on the high plains. I found myself reading passages aloud to my Wyoming-born partner, who agreed that Bell ...

    This book was a mixed bag. The author was eloquent in her descriptions of life in a way that pulled me in and made my heart ache to be back there. I have rarely seen someone who can capture the essence of a place so well as she painted word pictures of the landscape, weather, lifestyle...

    While much of this book was stunningly well-written, the part that I expected to like (young woman on her own herding sheep in Wyoming in the late 70s/early 80s) didn't draw me in, and I almost gave up after about 50 pages. The matter-of-fact, unemotional narrative is extremely effecti...

    An amazing communication of a land, its dimensions--weather, smells--if you could slowly run your hand over the border between Wyoming and Montana, east of Yellowstone, it would feel like Bell's account. Link that sense with the gradual revelation of her soul, without sentimentality, a...

    I set the book down as I finished it thinking it was a gift to have read it. This kind of memoir leaves one in the one down position of having made a great new friend who doesn't know you. [return][return]Bell showed me a side of Wyoming I don't see. I see the belligerent rancher and o...

    If this is just another "wild west" memoir, then I'm the tooth fairy. Those of you that know me will be surprised that I loved reading this book. I got seriously invested in several of the characters and most of the "situations". I laughed, and cried, at the correct moments. For some r...

    This had the feel of a collection of personal essays, more than a narrative memoir. Bell's story was interesting, but I found myself wanting to know more of the people and the stories. Her focus was instead on the land and the language she was using. It was an excellent example of that...

    Wonderfully written. The descriptions of ranch life, raising sheep and cattle, as well as Wyoming landscapes and people are spot-on. ...

    Amazing life and written beautifully ...

    I have always been a sucker for a good nature memoir. The writing in this book is solid so I spread out the book for a long time - a chapter a night (or, if I was busy with other books, even longer). The loosely connected chapters each deal with a part of her life - her sheep herdi...

    Claiming Ground moved me. Laura Bell has a way of sharing deeply intimate experiences without having to directly say what they are. She possesses this delicate balance of exposing harsh truths without excuses or blame. She weaves her life through the beauty of Wyoming with ease. It tru...

    I feel so lucky to have stumbled onto this unusual memoir of a life I could never have imagined. To choose the rough life of a sheep-herder in the harsh, wild landscape of Wyoming as a young woman takes an adventurous spirit, courage and incredible grit. Bell is a deft writer, tenderly...

    4.5 stars, pushing 5. I read a lot of ?people outside in the wilderness, grappling with their demons? memoirs. This one stands out. The writing is beautiful. Free of cliche, it gets to the nut of a sentiment or emotion. The book is honest about people: their flaws and failings are ...

    This is one of the best things I've read in a very long time. Laura Bell shows a tremendous amount of courage to write such and open and revealing memoir. I felt her solitude, loneliness, love and loss. It is beautifully written and it's one that I'll revisit again soon. It's one of on...

  • Jackie
    May 13, 2010

    5+? I'd like to share what beloved author Kent Haruf wrote about this memoir because I cannot do it justice. ?This is a book that compels you to the last sentence, both because of its sheer beauty and its profound meaning. It goes deep and way out to the edge, in beautifully co...

    With a heart as large as the "big sky" country she writes of, Laura Bell writes a memoir that intertwines a sense of place and the sense of what it means to be alive. Bell recounts her years working with sheep and cows in Wyoming, living a spartan life from a material standpoint, bu...

    This book was beautifully written, and the author's love of nature, animals, and her adopted state of Wyoming and the West comes shining through on every page, but as a memoir, it was just okay. The author was honest about a lot of things, but secretive and reluctant about others, whic...

    Oh my goodness. This book washed over me like a spring rain, and I feel healed, awed, thunderstruck and new. It's a watercolor in book form, as Bell draws the words, the mountains form, the predawn mist rising reveals the woman, her horse and her dogs. We're immersed in the world she c...

    Whoever the critic was was that pronounced the death of the memoir was just plain wrong. Laura Bell's "Claiming Ground" is a wonderful, passionate clear-eyed look at one womans life that will resonate with the reader for many reasons - if the dictum that the "unexamined life isn't wort...

    People live such interesting lives. It must take a great amount of motivation and drive to put to paper the occurrences, thoughts and feelings of one's own life. And perhaps a measure of faith to think that someone else might find the telling of such a life worth reading. Ms. Bell h...

  • Richard
    Apr 04, 2010

    5+? I'd like to share what beloved author Kent Haruf wrote about this memoir because I cannot do it justice. ?This is a book that compels you to the last sentence, both because of its sheer beauty and its profound meaning. It goes deep and way out to the edge, in beautifully co...

    With a heart as large as the "big sky" country she writes of, Laura Bell writes a memoir that intertwines a sense of place and the sense of what it means to be alive. Bell recounts her years working with sheep and cows in Wyoming, living a spartan life from a material standpoint, bu...

    This book was beautifully written, and the author's love of nature, animals, and her adopted state of Wyoming and the West comes shining through on every page, but as a memoir, it was just okay. The author was honest about a lot of things, but secretive and reluctant about others, whic...

    Oh my goodness. This book washed over me like a spring rain, and I feel healed, awed, thunderstruck and new. It's a watercolor in book form, as Bell draws the words, the mountains form, the predawn mist rising reveals the woman, her horse and her dogs. We're immersed in the world she c...

    Whoever the critic was was that pronounced the death of the memoir was just plain wrong. Laura Bell's "Claiming Ground" is a wonderful, passionate clear-eyed look at one womans life that will resonate with the reader for many reasons - if the dictum that the "unexamined life isn't wort...

  • Anne
    Jan 27, 2017

    5+? I'd like to share what beloved author Kent Haruf wrote about this memoir because I cannot do it justice. ?This is a book that compels you to the last sentence, both because of its sheer beauty and its profound meaning. It goes deep and way out to the edge, in beautifully co...

    With a heart as large as the "big sky" country she writes of, Laura Bell writes a memoir that intertwines a sense of place and the sense of what it means to be alive. Bell recounts her years working with sheep and cows in Wyoming, living a spartan life from a material standpoint, bu...

    This book was beautifully written, and the author's love of nature, animals, and her adopted state of Wyoming and the West comes shining through on every page, but as a memoir, it was just okay. The author was honest about a lot of things, but secretive and reluctant about others, whic...

    Oh my goodness. This book washed over me like a spring rain, and I feel healed, awed, thunderstruck and new. It's a watercolor in book form, as Bell draws the words, the mountains form, the predawn mist rising reveals the woman, her horse and her dogs. We're immersed in the world she c...

    Whoever the critic was was that pronounced the death of the memoir was just plain wrong. Laura Bell's "Claiming Ground" is a wonderful, passionate clear-eyed look at one womans life that will resonate with the reader for many reasons - if the dictum that the "unexamined life isn't wort...

    People live such interesting lives. It must take a great amount of motivation and drive to put to paper the occurrences, thoughts and feelings of one's own life. And perhaps a measure of faith to think that someone else might find the telling of such a life worth reading. Ms. Bell h...

    What I recall of the author was a lovely little girl who liked to ride horses. Laura was one of five children of a preacher my family and I adored. Each child was different, talented, intelligent. Marsha, the sister that was my age was exuberant and fun to be around...Laura was younger...

    There is flea market in Laramie south of Interstate 80. Much of it is a warren of eight by eight cubicles some of which are filled with little more than yard sale cast-offs while others contain what would be considered treasure vaults by collectors of one type or another. Meandering...

    I wanted so much to rate this book higher because of the locale, the subject, the author. But why did Bell have to be so obscure? The pictures in my minds eye were never complete; I was always having to reread and think and pause and reread trying to figure out where she was and what w...

    I'll admit that I'm a sucker for most books reviewed on NPR, and many times disappointed. Perhaps because every now and then, I stumble across a story that moves my very soul. Laura Bell is not an eloquent writer, nor is she well seasoned. It's the rawness and emotional exposure that s...

    This was exactly what I needed to read right now. Spare and solemn, this memoir reflected a lot of my own feelings of loss and of disappointment and deep yearning to find my place in this world. But in experiencing a reminder of those feelings, I am also reminded of the conviction that...

    Beautifully-written memoir by a woman who goes out to Wyoming and becomes a sheep herder, among other interesting jobs. I loved this book. ...

    I listened to this book on audio over a month or so of driving to errands. The narration was great and the story my favorite kind - a memoir complete with a deep sense of place. Books like this make me understand the West whose landscape, while beautiful, often seems alien to me. ...

    In _Claiming Ground_, Laura Bell captures pitch-perfectly the essence of Wyoming land and life. Both spare and lyrical, her style paints painfully accurate images of a life spent on the high plains. I found myself reading passages aloud to my Wyoming-born partner, who agreed that Bell ...

    This book was a mixed bag. The author was eloquent in her descriptions of life in a way that pulled me in and made my heart ache to be back there. I have rarely seen someone who can capture the essence of a place so well as she painted word pictures of the landscape, weather, lifestyle...

    While much of this book was stunningly well-written, the part that I expected to like (young woman on her own herding sheep in Wyoming in the late 70s/early 80s) didn't draw me in, and I almost gave up after about 50 pages. The matter-of-fact, unemotional narrative is extremely effecti...

    An amazing communication of a land, its dimensions--weather, smells--if you could slowly run your hand over the border between Wyoming and Montana, east of Yellowstone, it would feel like Bell's account. Link that sense with the gradual revelation of her soul, without sentimentality, a...

    I set the book down as I finished it thinking it was a gift to have read it. This kind of memoir leaves one in the one down position of having made a great new friend who doesn't know you. [return][return]Bell showed me a side of Wyoming I don't see. I see the belligerent rancher and o...

    If this is just another "wild west" memoir, then I'm the tooth fairy. Those of you that know me will be surprised that I loved reading this book. I got seriously invested in several of the characters and most of the "situations". I laughed, and cried, at the correct moments. For some r...

    This had the feel of a collection of personal essays, more than a narrative memoir. Bell's story was interesting, but I found myself wanting to know more of the people and the stories. Her focus was instead on the land and the language she was using. It was an excellent example of that...

    Wonderfully written. The descriptions of ranch life, raising sheep and cattle, as well as Wyoming landscapes and people are spot-on. ...

    Amazing life and written beautifully ...

    I have always been a sucker for a good nature memoir. The writing in this book is solid so I spread out the book for a long time - a chapter a night (or, if I was busy with other books, even longer). The loosely connected chapters each deal with a part of her life - her sheep herdi...

    Claiming Ground moved me. Laura Bell has a way of sharing deeply intimate experiences without having to directly say what they are. She possesses this delicate balance of exposing harsh truths without excuses or blame. She weaves her life through the beauty of Wyoming with ease. It tru...

    I feel so lucky to have stumbled onto this unusual memoir of a life I could never have imagined. To choose the rough life of a sheep-herder in the harsh, wild landscape of Wyoming as a young woman takes an adventurous spirit, courage and incredible grit. Bell is a deft writer, tenderly...

  • Judith Shadford
    May 15, 2012

    5+? I'd like to share what beloved author Kent Haruf wrote about this memoir because I cannot do it justice. ?This is a book that compels you to the last sentence, both because of its sheer beauty and its profound meaning. It goes deep and way out to the edge, in beautifully co...

    With a heart as large as the "big sky" country she writes of, Laura Bell writes a memoir that intertwines a sense of place and the sense of what it means to be alive. Bell recounts her years working with sheep and cows in Wyoming, living a spartan life from a material standpoint, bu...

    This book was beautifully written, and the author's love of nature, animals, and her adopted state of Wyoming and the West comes shining through on every page, but as a memoir, it was just okay. The author was honest about a lot of things, but secretive and reluctant about others, whic...

    Oh my goodness. This book washed over me like a spring rain, and I feel healed, awed, thunderstruck and new. It's a watercolor in book form, as Bell draws the words, the mountains form, the predawn mist rising reveals the woman, her horse and her dogs. We're immersed in the world she c...

    Whoever the critic was was that pronounced the death of the memoir was just plain wrong. Laura Bell's "Claiming Ground" is a wonderful, passionate clear-eyed look at one womans life that will resonate with the reader for many reasons - if the dictum that the "unexamined life isn't wort...

    People live such interesting lives. It must take a great amount of motivation and drive to put to paper the occurrences, thoughts and feelings of one's own life. And perhaps a measure of faith to think that someone else might find the telling of such a life worth reading. Ms. Bell h...

    What I recall of the author was a lovely little girl who liked to ride horses. Laura was one of five children of a preacher my family and I adored. Each child was different, talented, intelligent. Marsha, the sister that was my age was exuberant and fun to be around...Laura was younger...

    There is flea market in Laramie south of Interstate 80. Much of it is a warren of eight by eight cubicles some of which are filled with little more than yard sale cast-offs while others contain what would be considered treasure vaults by collectors of one type or another. Meandering...

    I wanted so much to rate this book higher because of the locale, the subject, the author. But why did Bell have to be so obscure? The pictures in my minds eye were never complete; I was always having to reread and think and pause and reread trying to figure out where she was and what w...

    I'll admit that I'm a sucker for most books reviewed on NPR, and many times disappointed. Perhaps because every now and then, I stumble across a story that moves my very soul. Laura Bell is not an eloquent writer, nor is she well seasoned. It's the rawness and emotional exposure that s...

    This was exactly what I needed to read right now. Spare and solemn, this memoir reflected a lot of my own feelings of loss and of disappointment and deep yearning to find my place in this world. But in experiencing a reminder of those feelings, I am also reminded of the conviction that...

    Beautifully-written memoir by a woman who goes out to Wyoming and becomes a sheep herder, among other interesting jobs. I loved this book. ...

    I listened to this book on audio over a month or so of driving to errands. The narration was great and the story my favorite kind - a memoir complete with a deep sense of place. Books like this make me understand the West whose landscape, while beautiful, often seems alien to me. ...

    In _Claiming Ground_, Laura Bell captures pitch-perfectly the essence of Wyoming land and life. Both spare and lyrical, her style paints painfully accurate images of a life spent on the high plains. I found myself reading passages aloud to my Wyoming-born partner, who agreed that Bell ...

    This book was a mixed bag. The author was eloquent in her descriptions of life in a way that pulled me in and made my heart ache to be back there. I have rarely seen someone who can capture the essence of a place so well as she painted word pictures of the landscape, weather, lifestyle...

    While much of this book was stunningly well-written, the part that I expected to like (young woman on her own herding sheep in Wyoming in the late 70s/early 80s) didn't draw me in, and I almost gave up after about 50 pages. The matter-of-fact, unemotional narrative is extremely effecti...

    An amazing communication of a land, its dimensions--weather, smells--if you could slowly run your hand over the border between Wyoming and Montana, east of Yellowstone, it would feel like Bell's account. Link that sense with the gradual revelation of her soul, without sentimentality, a...

  • Catherine
    May 02, 2010

    5+? I'd like to share what beloved author Kent Haruf wrote about this memoir because I cannot do it justice. ?This is a book that compels you to the last sentence, both because of its sheer beauty and its profound meaning. It goes deep and way out to the edge, in beautifully co...

    With a heart as large as the "big sky" country she writes of, Laura Bell writes a memoir that intertwines a sense of place and the sense of what it means to be alive. Bell recounts her years working with sheep and cows in Wyoming, living a spartan life from a material standpoint, bu...

    This book was beautifully written, and the author's love of nature, animals, and her adopted state of Wyoming and the West comes shining through on every page, but as a memoir, it was just okay. The author was honest about a lot of things, but secretive and reluctant about others, whic...

    Oh my goodness. This book washed over me like a spring rain, and I feel healed, awed, thunderstruck and new. It's a watercolor in book form, as Bell draws the words, the mountains form, the predawn mist rising reveals the woman, her horse and her dogs. We're immersed in the world she c...

    Whoever the critic was was that pronounced the death of the memoir was just plain wrong. Laura Bell's "Claiming Ground" is a wonderful, passionate clear-eyed look at one womans life that will resonate with the reader for many reasons - if the dictum that the "unexamined life isn't wort...

    People live such interesting lives. It must take a great amount of motivation and drive to put to paper the occurrences, thoughts and feelings of one's own life. And perhaps a measure of faith to think that someone else might find the telling of such a life worth reading. Ms. Bell h...

    What I recall of the author was a lovely little girl who liked to ride horses. Laura was one of five children of a preacher my family and I adored. Each child was different, talented, intelligent. Marsha, the sister that was my age was exuberant and fun to be around...Laura was younger...

    There is flea market in Laramie south of Interstate 80. Much of it is a warren of eight by eight cubicles some of which are filled with little more than yard sale cast-offs while others contain what would be considered treasure vaults by collectors of one type or another. Meandering...

    I wanted so much to rate this book higher because of the locale, the subject, the author. But why did Bell have to be so obscure? The pictures in my minds eye were never complete; I was always having to reread and think and pause and reread trying to figure out where she was and what w...

    I'll admit that I'm a sucker for most books reviewed on NPR, and many times disappointed. Perhaps because every now and then, I stumble across a story that moves my very soul. Laura Bell is not an eloquent writer, nor is she well seasoned. It's the rawness and emotional exposure that s...

    This was exactly what I needed to read right now. Spare and solemn, this memoir reflected a lot of my own feelings of loss and of disappointment and deep yearning to find my place in this world. But in experiencing a reminder of those feelings, I am also reminded of the conviction that...

    Beautifully-written memoir by a woman who goes out to Wyoming and becomes a sheep herder, among other interesting jobs. I loved this book. ...

    I listened to this book on audio over a month or so of driving to errands. The narration was great and the story my favorite kind - a memoir complete with a deep sense of place. Books like this make me understand the West whose landscape, while beautiful, often seems alien to me. ...

    In _Claiming Ground_, Laura Bell captures pitch-perfectly the essence of Wyoming land and life. Both spare and lyrical, her style paints painfully accurate images of a life spent on the high plains. I found myself reading passages aloud to my Wyoming-born partner, who agreed that Bell ...

    This book was a mixed bag. The author was eloquent in her descriptions of life in a way that pulled me in and made my heart ache to be back there. I have rarely seen someone who can capture the essence of a place so well as she painted word pictures of the landscape, weather, lifestyle...

    While much of this book was stunningly well-written, the part that I expected to like (young woman on her own herding sheep in Wyoming in the late 70s/early 80s) didn't draw me in, and I almost gave up after about 50 pages. The matter-of-fact, unemotional narrative is extremely effecti...

  • Kathleen
    Apr 05, 2010

    5+? I'd like to share what beloved author Kent Haruf wrote about this memoir because I cannot do it justice. ?This is a book that compels you to the last sentence, both because of its sheer beauty and its profound meaning. It goes deep and way out to the edge, in beautifully co...

    With a heart as large as the "big sky" country she writes of, Laura Bell writes a memoir that intertwines a sense of place and the sense of what it means to be alive. Bell recounts her years working with sheep and cows in Wyoming, living a spartan life from a material standpoint, bu...

    This book was beautifully written, and the author's love of nature, animals, and her adopted state of Wyoming and the West comes shining through on every page, but as a memoir, it was just okay. The author was honest about a lot of things, but secretive and reluctant about others, whic...

    Oh my goodness. This book washed over me like a spring rain, and I feel healed, awed, thunderstruck and new. It's a watercolor in book form, as Bell draws the words, the mountains form, the predawn mist rising reveals the woman, her horse and her dogs. We're immersed in the world she c...

    Whoever the critic was was that pronounced the death of the memoir was just plain wrong. Laura Bell's "Claiming Ground" is a wonderful, passionate clear-eyed look at one womans life that will resonate with the reader for many reasons - if the dictum that the "unexamined life isn't wort...

    People live such interesting lives. It must take a great amount of motivation and drive to put to paper the occurrences, thoughts and feelings of one's own life. And perhaps a measure of faith to think that someone else might find the telling of such a life worth reading. Ms. Bell h...

    What I recall of the author was a lovely little girl who liked to ride horses. Laura was one of five children of a preacher my family and I adored. Each child was different, talented, intelligent. Marsha, the sister that was my age was exuberant and fun to be around...Laura was younger...

    There is flea market in Laramie south of Interstate 80. Much of it is a warren of eight by eight cubicles some of which are filled with little more than yard sale cast-offs while others contain what would be considered treasure vaults by collectors of one type or another. Meandering...

    I wanted so much to rate this book higher because of the locale, the subject, the author. But why did Bell have to be so obscure? The pictures in my minds eye were never complete; I was always having to reread and think and pause and reread trying to figure out where she was and what w...

    I'll admit that I'm a sucker for most books reviewed on NPR, and many times disappointed. Perhaps because every now and then, I stumble across a story that moves my very soul. Laura Bell is not an eloquent writer, nor is she well seasoned. It's the rawness and emotional exposure that s...

    This was exactly what I needed to read right now. Spare and solemn, this memoir reflected a lot of my own feelings of loss and of disappointment and deep yearning to find my place in this world. But in experiencing a reminder of those feelings, I am also reminded of the conviction that...

    Beautifully-written memoir by a woman who goes out to Wyoming and becomes a sheep herder, among other interesting jobs. I loved this book. ...

    I listened to this book on audio over a month or so of driving to errands. The narration was great and the story my favorite kind - a memoir complete with a deep sense of place. Books like this make me understand the West whose landscape, while beautiful, often seems alien to me. ...

    In _Claiming Ground_, Laura Bell captures pitch-perfectly the essence of Wyoming land and life. Both spare and lyrical, her style paints painfully accurate images of a life spent on the high plains. I found myself reading passages aloud to my Wyoming-born partner, who agreed that Bell ...

    This book was a mixed bag. The author was eloquent in her descriptions of life in a way that pulled me in and made my heart ache to be back there. I have rarely seen someone who can capture the essence of a place so well as she painted word pictures of the landscape, weather, lifestyle...

    While much of this book was stunningly well-written, the part that I expected to like (young woman on her own herding sheep in Wyoming in the late 70s/early 80s) didn't draw me in, and I almost gave up after about 50 pages. The matter-of-fact, unemotional narrative is extremely effecti...

    An amazing communication of a land, its dimensions--weather, smells--if you could slowly run your hand over the border between Wyoming and Montana, east of Yellowstone, it would feel like Bell's account. Link that sense with the gradual revelation of her soul, without sentimentality, a...

    I set the book down as I finished it thinking it was a gift to have read it. This kind of memoir leaves one in the one down position of having made a great new friend who doesn't know you. [return][return]Bell showed me a side of Wyoming I don't see. I see the belligerent rancher and o...

    If this is just another "wild west" memoir, then I'm the tooth fairy. Those of you that know me will be surprised that I loved reading this book. I got seriously invested in several of the characters and most of the "situations". I laughed, and cried, at the correct moments. For some r...

    This had the feel of a collection of personal essays, more than a narrative memoir. Bell's story was interesting, but I found myself wanting to know more of the people and the stories. Her focus was instead on the land and the language she was using. It was an excellent example of that...

    Wonderfully written. The descriptions of ranch life, raising sheep and cattle, as well as Wyoming landscapes and people are spot-on. ...

  • Marjorie Elwood
    Dec 03, 2017

    5+? I'd like to share what beloved author Kent Haruf wrote about this memoir because I cannot do it justice. ?This is a book that compels you to the last sentence, both because of its sheer beauty and its profound meaning. It goes deep and way out to the edge, in beautifully co...

    With a heart as large as the "big sky" country she writes of, Laura Bell writes a memoir that intertwines a sense of place and the sense of what it means to be alive. Bell recounts her years working with sheep and cows in Wyoming, living a spartan life from a material standpoint, bu...

    This book was beautifully written, and the author's love of nature, animals, and her adopted state of Wyoming and the West comes shining through on every page, but as a memoir, it was just okay. The author was honest about a lot of things, but secretive and reluctant about others, whic...

    Oh my goodness. This book washed over me like a spring rain, and I feel healed, awed, thunderstruck and new. It's a watercolor in book form, as Bell draws the words, the mountains form, the predawn mist rising reveals the woman, her horse and her dogs. We're immersed in the world she c...

    Whoever the critic was was that pronounced the death of the memoir was just plain wrong. Laura Bell's "Claiming Ground" is a wonderful, passionate clear-eyed look at one womans life that will resonate with the reader for many reasons - if the dictum that the "unexamined life isn't wort...

    People live such interesting lives. It must take a great amount of motivation and drive to put to paper the occurrences, thoughts and feelings of one's own life. And perhaps a measure of faith to think that someone else might find the telling of such a life worth reading. Ms. Bell h...

    What I recall of the author was a lovely little girl who liked to ride horses. Laura was one of five children of a preacher my family and I adored. Each child was different, talented, intelligent. Marsha, the sister that was my age was exuberant and fun to be around...Laura was younger...

    There is flea market in Laramie south of Interstate 80. Much of it is a warren of eight by eight cubicles some of which are filled with little more than yard sale cast-offs while others contain what would be considered treasure vaults by collectors of one type or another. Meandering...

    I wanted so much to rate this book higher because of the locale, the subject, the author. But why did Bell have to be so obscure? The pictures in my minds eye were never complete; I was always having to reread and think and pause and reread trying to figure out where she was and what w...

    I'll admit that I'm a sucker for most books reviewed on NPR, and many times disappointed. Perhaps because every now and then, I stumble across a story that moves my very soul. Laura Bell is not an eloquent writer, nor is she well seasoned. It's the rawness and emotional exposure that s...

    This was exactly what I needed to read right now. Spare and solemn, this memoir reflected a lot of my own feelings of loss and of disappointment and deep yearning to find my place in this world. But in experiencing a reminder of those feelings, I am also reminded of the conviction that...

    Beautifully-written memoir by a woman who goes out to Wyoming and becomes a sheep herder, among other interesting jobs. I loved this book. ...

    I listened to this book on audio over a month or so of driving to errands. The narration was great and the story my favorite kind - a memoir complete with a deep sense of place. Books like this make me understand the West whose landscape, while beautiful, often seems alien to me. ...

    In _Claiming Ground_, Laura Bell captures pitch-perfectly the essence of Wyoming land and life. Both spare and lyrical, her style paints painfully accurate images of a life spent on the high plains. I found myself reading passages aloud to my Wyoming-born partner, who agreed that Bell ...

    This book was a mixed bag. The author was eloquent in her descriptions of life in a way that pulled me in and made my heart ache to be back there. I have rarely seen someone who can capture the essence of a place so well as she painted word pictures of the landscape, weather, lifestyle...

    While much of this book was stunningly well-written, the part that I expected to like (young woman on her own herding sheep in Wyoming in the late 70s/early 80s) didn't draw me in, and I almost gave up after about 50 pages. The matter-of-fact, unemotional narrative is extremely effecti...

    An amazing communication of a land, its dimensions--weather, smells--if you could slowly run your hand over the border between Wyoming and Montana, east of Yellowstone, it would feel like Bell's account. Link that sense with the gradual revelation of her soul, without sentimentality, a...

    I set the book down as I finished it thinking it was a gift to have read it. This kind of memoir leaves one in the one down position of having made a great new friend who doesn't know you. [return][return]Bell showed me a side of Wyoming I don't see. I see the belligerent rancher and o...

    If this is just another "wild west" memoir, then I'm the tooth fairy. Those of you that know me will be surprised that I loved reading this book. I got seriously invested in several of the characters and most of the "situations". I laughed, and cried, at the correct moments. For some r...

    This had the feel of a collection of personal essays, more than a narrative memoir. Bell's story was interesting, but I found myself wanting to know more of the people and the stories. Her focus was instead on the land and the language she was using. It was an excellent example of that...

    Wonderfully written. The descriptions of ranch life, raising sheep and cattle, as well as Wyoming landscapes and people are spot-on. ...

    Amazing life and written beautifully ...

    I have always been a sucker for a good nature memoir. The writing in this book is solid so I spread out the book for a long time - a chapter a night (or, if I was busy with other books, even longer). The loosely connected chapters each deal with a part of her life - her sheep herdi...

    Claiming Ground moved me. Laura Bell has a way of sharing deeply intimate experiences without having to directly say what they are. She possesses this delicate balance of exposing harsh truths without excuses or blame. She weaves her life through the beauty of Wyoming with ease. It tru...

    I feel so lucky to have stumbled onto this unusual memoir of a life I could never have imagined. To choose the rough life of a sheep-herder in the harsh, wild landscape of Wyoming as a young woman takes an adventurous spirit, courage and incredible grit. Bell is a deft writer, tenderly...

    4.5 stars, pushing 5. I read a lot of ?people outside in the wilderness, grappling with their demons? memoirs. This one stands out. The writing is beautiful. Free of cliche, it gets to the nut of a sentiment or emotion. The book is honest about people: their flaws and failings are ...

    This is one of the best things I've read in a very long time. Laura Bell shows a tremendous amount of courage to write such and open and revealing memoir. I felt her solitude, loneliness, love and loss. It is beautifully written and it's one that I'll revisit again soon. It's one of on...

    Loved it! I grew up in Powell, my mother in Lovell, so this really took me home again. So many familiar names and places, including family names. If you're not from the area it gives an excellent overview of the hard work, dedication and emotional tolls it takes to live in this beau...

    Lyrical and vast, this is the story of a woman who leaves home and, by turns, loses and finds herself in the wilds of Wyoming. Bell captures the sparseness and raw beauty of the Big Horn Basin landscape. Highly recommended. ...

  • Linda Robinson
    May 07, 2010

    5+? I'd like to share what beloved author Kent Haruf wrote about this memoir because I cannot do it justice. ?This is a book that compels you to the last sentence, both because of its sheer beauty and its profound meaning. It goes deep and way out to the edge, in beautifully co...

    With a heart as large as the "big sky" country she writes of, Laura Bell writes a memoir that intertwines a sense of place and the sense of what it means to be alive. Bell recounts her years working with sheep and cows in Wyoming, living a spartan life from a material standpoint, bu...

    This book was beautifully written, and the author's love of nature, animals, and her adopted state of Wyoming and the West comes shining through on every page, but as a memoir, it was just okay. The author was honest about a lot of things, but secretive and reluctant about others, whic...

    Oh my goodness. This book washed over me like a spring rain, and I feel healed, awed, thunderstruck and new. It's a watercolor in book form, as Bell draws the words, the mountains form, the predawn mist rising reveals the woman, her horse and her dogs. We're immersed in the world she c...

  • Kenny
    Aug 10, 2010

    5+? I'd like to share what beloved author Kent Haruf wrote about this memoir because I cannot do it justice. ?This is a book that compels you to the last sentence, both because of its sheer beauty and its profound meaning. It goes deep and way out to the edge, in beautifully co...

    With a heart as large as the "big sky" country she writes of, Laura Bell writes a memoir that intertwines a sense of place and the sense of what it means to be alive. Bell recounts her years working with sheep and cows in Wyoming, living a spartan life from a material standpoint, bu...

    This book was beautifully written, and the author's love of nature, animals, and her adopted state of Wyoming and the West comes shining through on every page, but as a memoir, it was just okay. The author was honest about a lot of things, but secretive and reluctant about others, whic...

    Oh my goodness. This book washed over me like a spring rain, and I feel healed, awed, thunderstruck and new. It's a watercolor in book form, as Bell draws the words, the mountains form, the predawn mist rising reveals the woman, her horse and her dogs. We're immersed in the world she c...

    Whoever the critic was was that pronounced the death of the memoir was just plain wrong. Laura Bell's "Claiming Ground" is a wonderful, passionate clear-eyed look at one womans life that will resonate with the reader for many reasons - if the dictum that the "unexamined life isn't wort...

    People live such interesting lives. It must take a great amount of motivation and drive to put to paper the occurrences, thoughts and feelings of one's own life. And perhaps a measure of faith to think that someone else might find the telling of such a life worth reading. Ms. Bell h...

    What I recall of the author was a lovely little girl who liked to ride horses. Laura was one of five children of a preacher my family and I adored. Each child was different, talented, intelligent. Marsha, the sister that was my age was exuberant and fun to be around...Laura was younger...

    There is flea market in Laramie south of Interstate 80. Much of it is a warren of eight by eight cubicles some of which are filled with little more than yard sale cast-offs while others contain what would be considered treasure vaults by collectors of one type or another. Meandering...

    I wanted so much to rate this book higher because of the locale, the subject, the author. But why did Bell have to be so obscure? The pictures in my minds eye were never complete; I was always having to reread and think and pause and reread trying to figure out where she was and what w...

    I'll admit that I'm a sucker for most books reviewed on NPR, and many times disappointed. Perhaps because every now and then, I stumble across a story that moves my very soul. Laura Bell is not an eloquent writer, nor is she well seasoned. It's the rawness and emotional exposure that s...

    This was exactly what I needed to read right now. Spare and solemn, this memoir reflected a lot of my own feelings of loss and of disappointment and deep yearning to find my place in this world. But in experiencing a reminder of those feelings, I am also reminded of the conviction that...

    Beautifully-written memoir by a woman who goes out to Wyoming and becomes a sheep herder, among other interesting jobs. I loved this book. ...

    I listened to this book on audio over a month or so of driving to errands. The narration was great and the story my favorite kind - a memoir complete with a deep sense of place. Books like this make me understand the West whose landscape, while beautiful, often seems alien to me. ...

    In _Claiming Ground_, Laura Bell captures pitch-perfectly the essence of Wyoming land and life. Both spare and lyrical, her style paints painfully accurate images of a life spent on the high plains. I found myself reading passages aloud to my Wyoming-born partner, who agreed that Bell ...

    This book was a mixed bag. The author was eloquent in her descriptions of life in a way that pulled me in and made my heart ache to be back there. I have rarely seen someone who can capture the essence of a place so well as she painted word pictures of the landscape, weather, lifestyle...

    While much of this book was stunningly well-written, the part that I expected to like (young woman on her own herding sheep in Wyoming in the late 70s/early 80s) didn't draw me in, and I almost gave up after about 50 pages. The matter-of-fact, unemotional narrative is extremely effecti...

    An amazing communication of a land, its dimensions--weather, smells--if you could slowly run your hand over the border between Wyoming and Montana, east of Yellowstone, it would feel like Bell's account. Link that sense with the gradual revelation of her soul, without sentimentality, a...

    I set the book down as I finished it thinking it was a gift to have read it. This kind of memoir leaves one in the one down position of having made a great new friend who doesn't know you. [return][return]Bell showed me a side of Wyoming I don't see. I see the belligerent rancher and o...

    If this is just another "wild west" memoir, then I'm the tooth fairy. Those of you that know me will be surprised that I loved reading this book. I got seriously invested in several of the characters and most of the "situations". I laughed, and cried, at the correct moments. For some r...

  • Susan Beecher
    Mar 28, 2017

    5+? I'd like to share what beloved author Kent Haruf wrote about this memoir because I cannot do it justice. ?This is a book that compels you to the last sentence, both because of its sheer beauty and its profound meaning. It goes deep and way out to the edge, in beautifully co...

    With a heart as large as the "big sky" country she writes of, Laura Bell writes a memoir that intertwines a sense of place and the sense of what it means to be alive. Bell recounts her years working with sheep and cows in Wyoming, living a spartan life from a material standpoint, bu...

    This book was beautifully written, and the author's love of nature, animals, and her adopted state of Wyoming and the West comes shining through on every page, but as a memoir, it was just okay. The author was honest about a lot of things, but secretive and reluctant about others, whic...

    Oh my goodness. This book washed over me like a spring rain, and I feel healed, awed, thunderstruck and new. It's a watercolor in book form, as Bell draws the words, the mountains form, the predawn mist rising reveals the woman, her horse and her dogs. We're immersed in the world she c...

    Whoever the critic was was that pronounced the death of the memoir was just plain wrong. Laura Bell's "Claiming Ground" is a wonderful, passionate clear-eyed look at one womans life that will resonate with the reader for many reasons - if the dictum that the "unexamined life isn't wort...

    People live such interesting lives. It must take a great amount of motivation and drive to put to paper the occurrences, thoughts and feelings of one's own life. And perhaps a measure of faith to think that someone else might find the telling of such a life worth reading. Ms. Bell h...

    What I recall of the author was a lovely little girl who liked to ride horses. Laura was one of five children of a preacher my family and I adored. Each child was different, talented, intelligent. Marsha, the sister that was my age was exuberant and fun to be around...Laura was younger...

    There is flea market in Laramie south of Interstate 80. Much of it is a warren of eight by eight cubicles some of which are filled with little more than yard sale cast-offs while others contain what would be considered treasure vaults by collectors of one type or another. Meandering...

    I wanted so much to rate this book higher because of the locale, the subject, the author. But why did Bell have to be so obscure? The pictures in my minds eye were never complete; I was always having to reread and think and pause and reread trying to figure out where she was and what w...

    I'll admit that I'm a sucker for most books reviewed on NPR, and many times disappointed. Perhaps because every now and then, I stumble across a story that moves my very soul. Laura Bell is not an eloquent writer, nor is she well seasoned. It's the rawness and emotional exposure that s...

    This was exactly what I needed to read right now. Spare and solemn, this memoir reflected a lot of my own feelings of loss and of disappointment and deep yearning to find my place in this world. But in experiencing a reminder of those feelings, I am also reminded of the conviction that...

    Beautifully-written memoir by a woman who goes out to Wyoming and becomes a sheep herder, among other interesting jobs. I loved this book. ...

  •  Sue❊
    Feb 24, 2016

    5+? I'd like to share what beloved author Kent Haruf wrote about this memoir because I cannot do it justice. ?This is a book that compels you to the last sentence, both because of its sheer beauty and its profound meaning. It goes deep and way out to the edge, in beautifully co...

    With a heart as large as the "big sky" country she writes of, Laura Bell writes a memoir that intertwines a sense of place and the sense of what it means to be alive. Bell recounts her years working with sheep and cows in Wyoming, living a spartan life from a material standpoint, bu...

    This book was beautifully written, and the author's love of nature, animals, and her adopted state of Wyoming and the West comes shining through on every page, but as a memoir, it was just okay. The author was honest about a lot of things, but secretive and reluctant about others, whic...

    Oh my goodness. This book washed over me like a spring rain, and I feel healed, awed, thunderstruck and new. It's a watercolor in book form, as Bell draws the words, the mountains form, the predawn mist rising reveals the woman, her horse and her dogs. We're immersed in the world she c...

    Whoever the critic was was that pronounced the death of the memoir was just plain wrong. Laura Bell's "Claiming Ground" is a wonderful, passionate clear-eyed look at one womans life that will resonate with the reader for many reasons - if the dictum that the "unexamined life isn't wort...

    People live such interesting lives. It must take a great amount of motivation and drive to put to paper the occurrences, thoughts and feelings of one's own life. And perhaps a measure of faith to think that someone else might find the telling of such a life worth reading. Ms. Bell h...

    What I recall of the author was a lovely little girl who liked to ride horses. Laura was one of five children of a preacher my family and I adored. Each child was different, talented, intelligent. Marsha, the sister that was my age was exuberant and fun to be around...Laura was younger...

    There is flea market in Laramie south of Interstate 80. Much of it is a warren of eight by eight cubicles some of which are filled with little more than yard sale cast-offs while others contain what would be considered treasure vaults by collectors of one type or another. Meandering...

    I wanted so much to rate this book higher because of the locale, the subject, the author. But why did Bell have to be so obscure? The pictures in my minds eye were never complete; I was always having to reread and think and pause and reread trying to figure out where she was and what w...

    I'll admit that I'm a sucker for most books reviewed on NPR, and many times disappointed. Perhaps because every now and then, I stumble across a story that moves my very soul. Laura Bell is not an eloquent writer, nor is she well seasoned. It's the rawness and emotional exposure that s...

    This was exactly what I needed to read right now. Spare and solemn, this memoir reflected a lot of my own feelings of loss and of disappointment and deep yearning to find my place in this world. But in experiencing a reminder of those feelings, I am also reminded of the conviction that...

    Beautifully-written memoir by a woman who goes out to Wyoming and becomes a sheep herder, among other interesting jobs. I loved this book. ...

    I listened to this book on audio over a month or so of driving to errands. The narration was great and the story my favorite kind - a memoir complete with a deep sense of place. Books like this make me understand the West whose landscape, while beautiful, often seems alien to me. ...

    In _Claiming Ground_, Laura Bell captures pitch-perfectly the essence of Wyoming land and life. Both spare and lyrical, her style paints painfully accurate images of a life spent on the high plains. I found myself reading passages aloud to my Wyoming-born partner, who agreed that Bell ...

    This book was a mixed bag. The author was eloquent in her descriptions of life in a way that pulled me in and made my heart ache to be back there. I have rarely seen someone who can capture the essence of a place so well as she painted word pictures of the landscape, weather, lifestyle...

    While much of this book was stunningly well-written, the part that I expected to like (young woman on her own herding sheep in Wyoming in the late 70s/early 80s) didn't draw me in, and I almost gave up after about 50 pages. The matter-of-fact, unemotional narrative is extremely effecti...

    An amazing communication of a land, its dimensions--weather, smells--if you could slowly run your hand over the border between Wyoming and Montana, east of Yellowstone, it would feel like Bell's account. Link that sense with the gradual revelation of her soul, without sentimentality, a...

    I set the book down as I finished it thinking it was a gift to have read it. This kind of memoir leaves one in the one down position of having made a great new friend who doesn't know you. [return][return]Bell showed me a side of Wyoming I don't see. I see the belligerent rancher and o...

    If this is just another "wild west" memoir, then I'm the tooth fairy. Those of you that know me will be surprised that I loved reading this book. I got seriously invested in several of the characters and most of the "situations". I laughed, and cried, at the correct moments. For some r...

    This had the feel of a collection of personal essays, more than a narrative memoir. Bell's story was interesting, but I found myself wanting to know more of the people and the stories. Her focus was instead on the land and the language she was using. It was an excellent example of that...

    Wonderfully written. The descriptions of ranch life, raising sheep and cattle, as well as Wyoming landscapes and people are spot-on. ...

    Amazing life and written beautifully ...

  • Mark Bailey
    Apr 11, 2014

    5+? I'd like to share what beloved author Kent Haruf wrote about this memoir because I cannot do it justice. ?This is a book that compels you to the last sentence, both because of its sheer beauty and its profound meaning. It goes deep and way out to the edge, in beautifully co...

    With a heart as large as the "big sky" country she writes of, Laura Bell writes a memoir that intertwines a sense of place and the sense of what it means to be alive. Bell recounts her years working with sheep and cows in Wyoming, living a spartan life from a material standpoint, bu...

    This book was beautifully written, and the author's love of nature, animals, and her adopted state of Wyoming and the West comes shining through on every page, but as a memoir, it was just okay. The author was honest about a lot of things, but secretive and reluctant about others, whic...

    Oh my goodness. This book washed over me like a spring rain, and I feel healed, awed, thunderstruck and new. It's a watercolor in book form, as Bell draws the words, the mountains form, the predawn mist rising reveals the woman, her horse and her dogs. We're immersed in the world she c...

    Whoever the critic was was that pronounced the death of the memoir was just plain wrong. Laura Bell's "Claiming Ground" is a wonderful, passionate clear-eyed look at one womans life that will resonate with the reader for many reasons - if the dictum that the "unexamined life isn't wort...

    People live such interesting lives. It must take a great amount of motivation and drive to put to paper the occurrences, thoughts and feelings of one's own life. And perhaps a measure of faith to think that someone else might find the telling of such a life worth reading. Ms. Bell h...

    What I recall of the author was a lovely little girl who liked to ride horses. Laura was one of five children of a preacher my family and I adored. Each child was different, talented, intelligent. Marsha, the sister that was my age was exuberant and fun to be around...Laura was younger...

    There is flea market in Laramie south of Interstate 80. Much of it is a warren of eight by eight cubicles some of which are filled with little more than yard sale cast-offs while others contain what would be considered treasure vaults by collectors of one type or another. Meandering...

    I wanted so much to rate this book higher because of the locale, the subject, the author. But why did Bell have to be so obscure? The pictures in my minds eye were never complete; I was always having to reread and think and pause and reread trying to figure out where she was and what w...

    I'll admit that I'm a sucker for most books reviewed on NPR, and many times disappointed. Perhaps because every now and then, I stumble across a story that moves my very soul. Laura Bell is not an eloquent writer, nor is she well seasoned. It's the rawness and emotional exposure that s...

    This was exactly what I needed to read right now. Spare and solemn, this memoir reflected a lot of my own feelings of loss and of disappointment and deep yearning to find my place in this world. But in experiencing a reminder of those feelings, I am also reminded of the conviction that...

    Beautifully-written memoir by a woman who goes out to Wyoming and becomes a sheep herder, among other interesting jobs. I loved this book. ...

    I listened to this book on audio over a month or so of driving to errands. The narration was great and the story my favorite kind - a memoir complete with a deep sense of place. Books like this make me understand the West whose landscape, while beautiful, often seems alien to me. ...

    In _Claiming Ground_, Laura Bell captures pitch-perfectly the essence of Wyoming land and life. Both spare and lyrical, her style paints painfully accurate images of a life spent on the high plains. I found myself reading passages aloud to my Wyoming-born partner, who agreed that Bell ...

    This book was a mixed bag. The author was eloquent in her descriptions of life in a way that pulled me in and made my heart ache to be back there. I have rarely seen someone who can capture the essence of a place so well as she painted word pictures of the landscape, weather, lifestyle...

    While much of this book was stunningly well-written, the part that I expected to like (young woman on her own herding sheep in Wyoming in the late 70s/early 80s) didn't draw me in, and I almost gave up after about 50 pages. The matter-of-fact, unemotional narrative is extremely effecti...

    An amazing communication of a land, its dimensions--weather, smells--if you could slowly run your hand over the border between Wyoming and Montana, east of Yellowstone, it would feel like Bell's account. Link that sense with the gradual revelation of her soul, without sentimentality, a...

    I set the book down as I finished it thinking it was a gift to have read it. This kind of memoir leaves one in the one down position of having made a great new friend who doesn't know you. [return][return]Bell showed me a side of Wyoming I don't see. I see the belligerent rancher and o...

  • Becca
    Jul 01, 2011

    5+? I'd like to share what beloved author Kent Haruf wrote about this memoir because I cannot do it justice. ?This is a book that compels you to the last sentence, both because of its sheer beauty and its profound meaning. It goes deep and way out to the edge, in beautifully co...

    With a heart as large as the "big sky" country she writes of, Laura Bell writes a memoir that intertwines a sense of place and the sense of what it means to be alive. Bell recounts her years working with sheep and cows in Wyoming, living a spartan life from a material standpoint, bu...

    This book was beautifully written, and the author's love of nature, animals, and her adopted state of Wyoming and the West comes shining through on every page, but as a memoir, it was just okay. The author was honest about a lot of things, but secretive and reluctant about others, whic...

    Oh my goodness. This book washed over me like a spring rain, and I feel healed, awed, thunderstruck and new. It's a watercolor in book form, as Bell draws the words, the mountains form, the predawn mist rising reveals the woman, her horse and her dogs. We're immersed in the world she c...

    Whoever the critic was was that pronounced the death of the memoir was just plain wrong. Laura Bell's "Claiming Ground" is a wonderful, passionate clear-eyed look at one womans life that will resonate with the reader for many reasons - if the dictum that the "unexamined life isn't wort...

    People live such interesting lives. It must take a great amount of motivation and drive to put to paper the occurrences, thoughts and feelings of one's own life. And perhaps a measure of faith to think that someone else might find the telling of such a life worth reading. Ms. Bell h...

    What I recall of the author was a lovely little girl who liked to ride horses. Laura was one of five children of a preacher my family and I adored. Each child was different, talented, intelligent. Marsha, the sister that was my age was exuberant and fun to be around...Laura was younger...

    There is flea market in Laramie south of Interstate 80. Much of it is a warren of eight by eight cubicles some of which are filled with little more than yard sale cast-offs while others contain what would be considered treasure vaults by collectors of one type or another. Meandering...

    I wanted so much to rate this book higher because of the locale, the subject, the author. But why did Bell have to be so obscure? The pictures in my minds eye were never complete; I was always having to reread and think and pause and reread trying to figure out where she was and what w...

    I'll admit that I'm a sucker for most books reviewed on NPR, and many times disappointed. Perhaps because every now and then, I stumble across a story that moves my very soul. Laura Bell is not an eloquent writer, nor is she well seasoned. It's the rawness and emotional exposure that s...

    This was exactly what I needed to read right now. Spare and solemn, this memoir reflected a lot of my own feelings of loss and of disappointment and deep yearning to find my place in this world. But in experiencing a reminder of those feelings, I am also reminded of the conviction that...

    Beautifully-written memoir by a woman who goes out to Wyoming and becomes a sheep herder, among other interesting jobs. I loved this book. ...

    I listened to this book on audio over a month or so of driving to errands. The narration was great and the story my favorite kind - a memoir complete with a deep sense of place. Books like this make me understand the West whose landscape, while beautiful, often seems alien to me. ...

    In _Claiming Ground_, Laura Bell captures pitch-perfectly the essence of Wyoming land and life. Both spare and lyrical, her style paints painfully accurate images of a life spent on the high plains. I found myself reading passages aloud to my Wyoming-born partner, who agreed that Bell ...

    This book was a mixed bag. The author was eloquent in her descriptions of life in a way that pulled me in and made my heart ache to be back there. I have rarely seen someone who can capture the essence of a place so well as she painted word pictures of the landscape, weather, lifestyle...

  • Robin Hyman
    Aug 19, 2011

    5+? I'd like to share what beloved author Kent Haruf wrote about this memoir because I cannot do it justice. ?This is a book that compels you to the last sentence, both because of its sheer beauty and its profound meaning. It goes deep and way out to the edge, in beautifully co...

    With a heart as large as the "big sky" country she writes of, Laura Bell writes a memoir that intertwines a sense of place and the sense of what it means to be alive. Bell recounts her years working with sheep and cows in Wyoming, living a spartan life from a material standpoint, bu...

    This book was beautifully written, and the author's love of nature, animals, and her adopted state of Wyoming and the West comes shining through on every page, but as a memoir, it was just okay. The author was honest about a lot of things, but secretive and reluctant about others, whic...

    Oh my goodness. This book washed over me like a spring rain, and I feel healed, awed, thunderstruck and new. It's a watercolor in book form, as Bell draws the words, the mountains form, the predawn mist rising reveals the woman, her horse and her dogs. We're immersed in the world she c...

    Whoever the critic was was that pronounced the death of the memoir was just plain wrong. Laura Bell's "Claiming Ground" is a wonderful, passionate clear-eyed look at one womans life that will resonate with the reader for many reasons - if the dictum that the "unexamined life isn't wort...

    People live such interesting lives. It must take a great amount of motivation and drive to put to paper the occurrences, thoughts and feelings of one's own life. And perhaps a measure of faith to think that someone else might find the telling of such a life worth reading. Ms. Bell h...

    What I recall of the author was a lovely little girl who liked to ride horses. Laura was one of five children of a preacher my family and I adored. Each child was different, talented, intelligent. Marsha, the sister that was my age was exuberant and fun to be around...Laura was younger...

    There is flea market in Laramie south of Interstate 80. Much of it is a warren of eight by eight cubicles some of which are filled with little more than yard sale cast-offs while others contain what would be considered treasure vaults by collectors of one type or another. Meandering...

    I wanted so much to rate this book higher because of the locale, the subject, the author. But why did Bell have to be so obscure? The pictures in my minds eye were never complete; I was always having to reread and think and pause and reread trying to figure out where she was and what w...

    I'll admit that I'm a sucker for most books reviewed on NPR, and many times disappointed. Perhaps because every now and then, I stumble across a story that moves my very soul. Laura Bell is not an eloquent writer, nor is she well seasoned. It's the rawness and emotional exposure that s...

  • Michael Selmer
    Dec 21, 2011

    5+? I'd like to share what beloved author Kent Haruf wrote about this memoir because I cannot do it justice. ?This is a book that compels you to the last sentence, both because of its sheer beauty and its profound meaning. It goes deep and way out to the edge, in beautifully co...

    With a heart as large as the "big sky" country she writes of, Laura Bell writes a memoir that intertwines a sense of place and the sense of what it means to be alive. Bell recounts her years working with sheep and cows in Wyoming, living a spartan life from a material standpoint, bu...

    This book was beautifully written, and the author's love of nature, animals, and her adopted state of Wyoming and the West comes shining through on every page, but as a memoir, it was just okay. The author was honest about a lot of things, but secretive and reluctant about others, whic...

    Oh my goodness. This book washed over me like a spring rain, and I feel healed, awed, thunderstruck and new. It's a watercolor in book form, as Bell draws the words, the mountains form, the predawn mist rising reveals the woman, her horse and her dogs. We're immersed in the world she c...

    Whoever the critic was was that pronounced the death of the memoir was just plain wrong. Laura Bell's "Claiming Ground" is a wonderful, passionate clear-eyed look at one womans life that will resonate with the reader for many reasons - if the dictum that the "unexamined life isn't wort...

    People live such interesting lives. It must take a great amount of motivation and drive to put to paper the occurrences, thoughts and feelings of one's own life. And perhaps a measure of faith to think that someone else might find the telling of such a life worth reading. Ms. Bell h...

    What I recall of the author was a lovely little girl who liked to ride horses. Laura was one of five children of a preacher my family and I adored. Each child was different, talented, intelligent. Marsha, the sister that was my age was exuberant and fun to be around...Laura was younger...

    There is flea market in Laramie south of Interstate 80. Much of it is a warren of eight by eight cubicles some of which are filled with little more than yard sale cast-offs while others contain what would be considered treasure vaults by collectors of one type or another. Meandering...

  • Diane Barnes
    Feb 23, 2016

    5+? I'd like to share what beloved author Kent Haruf wrote about this memoir because I cannot do it justice. ?This is a book that compels you to the last sentence, both because of its sheer beauty and its profound meaning. It goes deep and way out to the edge, in beautifully co...

    With a heart as large as the "big sky" country she writes of, Laura Bell writes a memoir that intertwines a sense of place and the sense of what it means to be alive. Bell recounts her years working with sheep and cows in Wyoming, living a spartan life from a material standpoint, bu...

    This book was beautifully written, and the author's love of nature, animals, and her adopted state of Wyoming and the West comes shining through on every page, but as a memoir, it was just okay. The author was honest about a lot of things, but secretive and reluctant about others, whic...

  • Jen
    Aug 11, 2014

    5+? I'd like to share what beloved author Kent Haruf wrote about this memoir because I cannot do it justice. ?This is a book that compels you to the last sentence, both because of its sheer beauty and its profound meaning. It goes deep and way out to the edge, in beautifully co...

    With a heart as large as the "big sky" country she writes of, Laura Bell writes a memoir that intertwines a sense of place and the sense of what it means to be alive. Bell recounts her years working with sheep and cows in Wyoming, living a spartan life from a material standpoint, bu...

    This book was beautifully written, and the author's love of nature, animals, and her adopted state of Wyoming and the West comes shining through on every page, but as a memoir, it was just okay. The author was honest about a lot of things, but secretive and reluctant about others, whic...

    Oh my goodness. This book washed over me like a spring rain, and I feel healed, awed, thunderstruck and new. It's a watercolor in book form, as Bell draws the words, the mountains form, the predawn mist rising reveals the woman, her horse and her dogs. We're immersed in the world she c...

    Whoever the critic was was that pronounced the death of the memoir was just plain wrong. Laura Bell's "Claiming Ground" is a wonderful, passionate clear-eyed look at one womans life that will resonate with the reader for many reasons - if the dictum that the "unexamined life isn't wort...

    People live such interesting lives. It must take a great amount of motivation and drive to put to paper the occurrences, thoughts and feelings of one's own life. And perhaps a measure of faith to think that someone else might find the telling of such a life worth reading. Ms. Bell h...

    What I recall of the author was a lovely little girl who liked to ride horses. Laura was one of five children of a preacher my family and I adored. Each child was different, talented, intelligent. Marsha, the sister that was my age was exuberant and fun to be around...Laura was younger...

    There is flea market in Laramie south of Interstate 80. Much of it is a warren of eight by eight cubicles some of which are filled with little more than yard sale cast-offs while others contain what would be considered treasure vaults by collectors of one type or another. Meandering...

    I wanted so much to rate this book higher because of the locale, the subject, the author. But why did Bell have to be so obscure? The pictures in my minds eye were never complete; I was always having to reread and think and pause and reread trying to figure out where she was and what w...

    I'll admit that I'm a sucker for most books reviewed on NPR, and many times disappointed. Perhaps because every now and then, I stumble across a story that moves my very soul. Laura Bell is not an eloquent writer, nor is she well seasoned. It's the rawness and emotional exposure that s...

    This was exactly what I needed to read right now. Spare and solemn, this memoir reflected a lot of my own feelings of loss and of disappointment and deep yearning to find my place in this world. But in experiencing a reminder of those feelings, I am also reminded of the conviction that...

    Beautifully-written memoir by a woman who goes out to Wyoming and becomes a sheep herder, among other interesting jobs. I loved this book. ...

    I listened to this book on audio over a month or so of driving to errands. The narration was great and the story my favorite kind - a memoir complete with a deep sense of place. Books like this make me understand the West whose landscape, while beautiful, often seems alien to me. ...

    In _Claiming Ground_, Laura Bell captures pitch-perfectly the essence of Wyoming land and life. Both spare and lyrical, her style paints painfully accurate images of a life spent on the high plains. I found myself reading passages aloud to my Wyoming-born partner, who agreed that Bell ...

    This book was a mixed bag. The author was eloquent in her descriptions of life in a way that pulled me in and made my heart ache to be back there. I have rarely seen someone who can capture the essence of a place so well as she painted word pictures of the landscape, weather, lifestyle...

    While much of this book was stunningly well-written, the part that I expected to like (young woman on her own herding sheep in Wyoming in the late 70s/early 80s) didn't draw me in, and I almost gave up after about 50 pages. The matter-of-fact, unemotional narrative is extremely effecti...

    An amazing communication of a land, its dimensions--weather, smells--if you could slowly run your hand over the border between Wyoming and Montana, east of Yellowstone, it would feel like Bell's account. Link that sense with the gradual revelation of her soul, without sentimentality, a...

    I set the book down as I finished it thinking it was a gift to have read it. This kind of memoir leaves one in the one down position of having made a great new friend who doesn't know you. [return][return]Bell showed me a side of Wyoming I don't see. I see the belligerent rancher and o...

    If this is just another "wild west" memoir, then I'm the tooth fairy. Those of you that know me will be surprised that I loved reading this book. I got seriously invested in several of the characters and most of the "situations". I laughed, and cried, at the correct moments. For some r...

    This had the feel of a collection of personal essays, more than a narrative memoir. Bell's story was interesting, but I found myself wanting to know more of the people and the stories. Her focus was instead on the land and the language she was using. It was an excellent example of that...

  • Marysha
    Jan 28, 2018

    5+? I'd like to share what beloved author Kent Haruf wrote about this memoir because I cannot do it justice. ?This is a book that compels you to the last sentence, both because of its sheer beauty and its profound meaning. It goes deep and way out to the edge, in beautifully co...

    With a heart as large as the "big sky" country she writes of, Laura Bell writes a memoir that intertwines a sense of place and the sense of what it means to be alive. Bell recounts her years working with sheep and cows in Wyoming, living a spartan life from a material standpoint, bu...

    This book was beautifully written, and the author's love of nature, animals, and her adopted state of Wyoming and the West comes shining through on every page, but as a memoir, it was just okay. The author was honest about a lot of things, but secretive and reluctant about others, whic...

    Oh my goodness. This book washed over me like a spring rain, and I feel healed, awed, thunderstruck and new. It's a watercolor in book form, as Bell draws the words, the mountains form, the predawn mist rising reveals the woman, her horse and her dogs. We're immersed in the world she c...

    Whoever the critic was was that pronounced the death of the memoir was just plain wrong. Laura Bell's "Claiming Ground" is a wonderful, passionate clear-eyed look at one womans life that will resonate with the reader for many reasons - if the dictum that the "unexamined life isn't wort...

    People live such interesting lives. It must take a great amount of motivation and drive to put to paper the occurrences, thoughts and feelings of one's own life. And perhaps a measure of faith to think that someone else might find the telling of such a life worth reading. Ms. Bell h...

    What I recall of the author was a lovely little girl who liked to ride horses. Laura was one of five children of a preacher my family and I adored. Each child was different, talented, intelligent. Marsha, the sister that was my age was exuberant and fun to be around...Laura was younger...

    There is flea market in Laramie south of Interstate 80. Much of it is a warren of eight by eight cubicles some of which are filled with little more than yard sale cast-offs while others contain what would be considered treasure vaults by collectors of one type or another. Meandering...

    I wanted so much to rate this book higher because of the locale, the subject, the author. But why did Bell have to be so obscure? The pictures in my minds eye were never complete; I was always having to reread and think and pause and reread trying to figure out where she was and what w...

    I'll admit that I'm a sucker for most books reviewed on NPR, and many times disappointed. Perhaps because every now and then, I stumble across a story that moves my very soul. Laura Bell is not an eloquent writer, nor is she well seasoned. It's the rawness and emotional exposure that s...

    This was exactly what I needed to read right now. Spare and solemn, this memoir reflected a lot of my own feelings of loss and of disappointment and deep yearning to find my place in this world. But in experiencing a reminder of those feelings, I am also reminded of the conviction that...

    Beautifully-written memoir by a woman who goes out to Wyoming and becomes a sheep herder, among other interesting jobs. I loved this book. ...

    I listened to this book on audio over a month or so of driving to errands. The narration was great and the story my favorite kind - a memoir complete with a deep sense of place. Books like this make me understand the West whose landscape, while beautiful, often seems alien to me. ...

    In _Claiming Ground_, Laura Bell captures pitch-perfectly the essence of Wyoming land and life. Both spare and lyrical, her style paints painfully accurate images of a life spent on the high plains. I found myself reading passages aloud to my Wyoming-born partner, who agreed that Bell ...

    This book was a mixed bag. The author was eloquent in her descriptions of life in a way that pulled me in and made my heart ache to be back there. I have rarely seen someone who can capture the essence of a place so well as she painted word pictures of the landscape, weather, lifestyle...

    While much of this book was stunningly well-written, the part that I expected to like (young woman on her own herding sheep in Wyoming in the late 70s/early 80s) didn't draw me in, and I almost gave up after about 50 pages. The matter-of-fact, unemotional narrative is extremely effecti...

    An amazing communication of a land, its dimensions--weather, smells--if you could slowly run your hand over the border between Wyoming and Montana, east of Yellowstone, it would feel like Bell's account. Link that sense with the gradual revelation of her soul, without sentimentality, a...

    I set the book down as I finished it thinking it was a gift to have read it. This kind of memoir leaves one in the one down position of having made a great new friend who doesn't know you. [return][return]Bell showed me a side of Wyoming I don't see. I see the belligerent rancher and o...

    If this is just another "wild west" memoir, then I'm the tooth fairy. Those of you that know me will be surprised that I loved reading this book. I got seriously invested in several of the characters and most of the "situations". I laughed, and cried, at the correct moments. For some r...

    This had the feel of a collection of personal essays, more than a narrative memoir. Bell's story was interesting, but I found myself wanting to know more of the people and the stories. Her focus was instead on the land and the language she was using. It was an excellent example of that...

    Wonderfully written. The descriptions of ranch life, raising sheep and cattle, as well as Wyoming landscapes and people are spot-on. ...

    Amazing life and written beautifully ...

    I have always been a sucker for a good nature memoir. The writing in this book is solid so I spread out the book for a long time - a chapter a night (or, if I was busy with other books, even longer). The loosely connected chapters each deal with a part of her life - her sheep herdi...

    Claiming Ground moved me. Laura Bell has a way of sharing deeply intimate experiences without having to directly say what they are. She possesses this delicate balance of exposing harsh truths without excuses or blame. She weaves her life through the beauty of Wyoming with ease. It tru...

    I feel so lucky to have stumbled onto this unusual memoir of a life I could never have imagined. To choose the rough life of a sheep-herder in the harsh, wild landscape of Wyoming as a young woman takes an adventurous spirit, courage and incredible grit. Bell is a deft writer, tenderly...

    4.5 stars, pushing 5. I read a lot of ?people outside in the wilderness, grappling with their demons? memoirs. This one stands out. The writing is beautiful. Free of cliche, it gets to the nut of a sentiment or emotion. The book is honest about people: their flaws and failings are ...

    This is one of the best things I've read in a very long time. Laura Bell shows a tremendous amount of courage to write such and open and revealing memoir. I felt her solitude, loneliness, love and loss. It is beautifully written and it's one that I'll revisit again soon. It's one of on...

    Loved it! I grew up in Powell, my mother in Lovell, so this really took me home again. So many familiar names and places, including family names. If you're not from the area it gives an excellent overview of the hard work, dedication and emotional tolls it takes to live in this beau...

    Lyrical and vast, this is the story of a woman who leaves home and, by turns, loses and finds herself in the wilds of Wyoming. Bell captures the sparseness and raw beauty of the Big Horn Basin landscape. Highly recommended. ...

    Audio book with a comforting narration. Would be good listen while traveling west! ...

  • Jennifer
    Feb 23, 2016

    5+? I'd like to share what beloved author Kent Haruf wrote about this memoir because I cannot do it justice. ?This is a book that compels you to the last sentence, both because of its sheer beauty and its profound meaning. It goes deep and way out to the edge, in beautifully co...

    With a heart as large as the "big sky" country she writes of, Laura Bell writes a memoir that intertwines a sense of place and the sense of what it means to be alive. Bell recounts her years working with sheep and cows in Wyoming, living a spartan life from a material standpoint, bu...

  • Pam Kennedy
    Aug 30, 2017

    5+? I'd like to share what beloved author Kent Haruf wrote about this memoir because I cannot do it justice. ?This is a book that compels you to the last sentence, both because of its sheer beauty and its profound meaning. It goes deep and way out to the edge, in beautifully co...

    With a heart as large as the "big sky" country she writes of, Laura Bell writes a memoir that intertwines a sense of place and the sense of what it means to be alive. Bell recounts her years working with sheep and cows in Wyoming, living a spartan life from a material standpoint, bu...

    This book was beautifully written, and the author's love of nature, animals, and her adopted state of Wyoming and the West comes shining through on every page, but as a memoir, it was just okay. The author was honest about a lot of things, but secretive and reluctant about others, whic...

    Oh my goodness. This book washed over me like a spring rain, and I feel healed, awed, thunderstruck and new. It's a watercolor in book form, as Bell draws the words, the mountains form, the predawn mist rising reveals the woman, her horse and her dogs. We're immersed in the world she c...

    Whoever the critic was was that pronounced the death of the memoir was just plain wrong. Laura Bell's "Claiming Ground" is a wonderful, passionate clear-eyed look at one womans life that will resonate with the reader for many reasons - if the dictum that the "unexamined life isn't wort...

    People live such interesting lives. It must take a great amount of motivation and drive to put to paper the occurrences, thoughts and feelings of one's own life. And perhaps a measure of faith to think that someone else might find the telling of such a life worth reading. Ms. Bell h...

    What I recall of the author was a lovely little girl who liked to ride horses. Laura was one of five children of a preacher my family and I adored. Each child was different, talented, intelligent. Marsha, the sister that was my age was exuberant and fun to be around...Laura was younger...

    There is flea market in Laramie south of Interstate 80. Much of it is a warren of eight by eight cubicles some of which are filled with little more than yard sale cast-offs while others contain what would be considered treasure vaults by collectors of one type or another. Meandering...

    I wanted so much to rate this book higher because of the locale, the subject, the author. But why did Bell have to be so obscure? The pictures in my minds eye were never complete; I was always having to reread and think and pause and reread trying to figure out where she was and what w...

    I'll admit that I'm a sucker for most books reviewed on NPR, and many times disappointed. Perhaps because every now and then, I stumble across a story that moves my very soul. Laura Bell is not an eloquent writer, nor is she well seasoned. It's the rawness and emotional exposure that s...

    This was exactly what I needed to read right now. Spare and solemn, this memoir reflected a lot of my own feelings of loss and of disappointment and deep yearning to find my place in this world. But in experiencing a reminder of those feelings, I am also reminded of the conviction that...

    Beautifully-written memoir by a woman who goes out to Wyoming and becomes a sheep herder, among other interesting jobs. I loved this book. ...

    I listened to this book on audio over a month or so of driving to errands. The narration was great and the story my favorite kind - a memoir complete with a deep sense of place. Books like this make me understand the West whose landscape, while beautiful, often seems alien to me. ...

  • Cathrine ☯️
    Jan 17, 2015

    5+? I'd like to share what beloved author Kent Haruf wrote about this memoir because I cannot do it justice. ?This is a book that compels you to the last sentence, both because of its sheer beauty and its profound meaning. It goes deep and way out to the edge, in beautifully co...

  • Donia
    Jun 05, 2014

    5+? I'd like to share what beloved author Kent Haruf wrote about this memoir because I cannot do it justice. ?This is a book that compels you to the last sentence, both because of its sheer beauty and its profound meaning. It goes deep and way out to the edge, in beautifully co...

    With a heart as large as the "big sky" country she writes of, Laura Bell writes a memoir that intertwines a sense of place and the sense of what it means to be alive. Bell recounts her years working with sheep and cows in Wyoming, living a spartan life from a material standpoint, bu...

    This book was beautifully written, and the author's love of nature, animals, and her adopted state of Wyoming and the West comes shining through on every page, but as a memoir, it was just okay. The author was honest about a lot of things, but secretive and reluctant about others, whic...

    Oh my goodness. This book washed over me like a spring rain, and I feel healed, awed, thunderstruck and new. It's a watercolor in book form, as Bell draws the words, the mountains form, the predawn mist rising reveals the woman, her horse and her dogs. We're immersed in the world she c...

    Whoever the critic was was that pronounced the death of the memoir was just plain wrong. Laura Bell's "Claiming Ground" is a wonderful, passionate clear-eyed look at one womans life that will resonate with the reader for many reasons - if the dictum that the "unexamined life isn't wort...

    People live such interesting lives. It must take a great amount of motivation and drive to put to paper the occurrences, thoughts and feelings of one's own life. And perhaps a measure of faith to think that someone else might find the telling of such a life worth reading. Ms. Bell h...

    What I recall of the author was a lovely little girl who liked to ride horses. Laura was one of five children of a preacher my family and I adored. Each child was different, talented, intelligent. Marsha, the sister that was my age was exuberant and fun to be around...Laura was younger...

    There is flea market in Laramie south of Interstate 80. Much of it is a warren of eight by eight cubicles some of which are filled with little more than yard sale cast-offs while others contain what would be considered treasure vaults by collectors of one type or another. Meandering...

    I wanted so much to rate this book higher because of the locale, the subject, the author. But why did Bell have to be so obscure? The pictures in my minds eye were never complete; I was always having to reread and think and pause and reread trying to figure out where she was and what w...

  • Colette
    Dec 12, 2017

    5+? I'd like to share what beloved author Kent Haruf wrote about this memoir because I cannot do it justice. ?This is a book that compels you to the last sentence, both because of its sheer beauty and its profound meaning. It goes deep and way out to the edge, in beautifully co...

    With a heart as large as the "big sky" country she writes of, Laura Bell writes a memoir that intertwines a sense of place and the sense of what it means to be alive. Bell recounts her years working with sheep and cows in Wyoming, living a spartan life from a material standpoint, bu...

    This book was beautifully written, and the author's love of nature, animals, and her adopted state of Wyoming and the West comes shining through on every page, but as a memoir, it was just okay. The author was honest about a lot of things, but secretive and reluctant about others, whic...

    Oh my goodness. This book washed over me like a spring rain, and I feel healed, awed, thunderstruck and new. It's a watercolor in book form, as Bell draws the words, the mountains form, the predawn mist rising reveals the woman, her horse and her dogs. We're immersed in the world she c...

    Whoever the critic was was that pronounced the death of the memoir was just plain wrong. Laura Bell's "Claiming Ground" is a wonderful, passionate clear-eyed look at one womans life that will resonate with the reader for many reasons - if the dictum that the "unexamined life isn't wort...

    People live such interesting lives. It must take a great amount of motivation and drive to put to paper the occurrences, thoughts and feelings of one's own life. And perhaps a measure of faith to think that someone else might find the telling of such a life worth reading. Ms. Bell h...

    What I recall of the author was a lovely little girl who liked to ride horses. Laura was one of five children of a preacher my family and I adored. Each child was different, talented, intelligent. Marsha, the sister that was my age was exuberant and fun to be around...Laura was younger...

    There is flea market in Laramie south of Interstate 80. Much of it is a warren of eight by eight cubicles some of which are filled with little more than yard sale cast-offs while others contain what would be considered treasure vaults by collectors of one type or another. Meandering...

    I wanted so much to rate this book higher because of the locale, the subject, the author. But why did Bell have to be so obscure? The pictures in my minds eye were never complete; I was always having to reread and think and pause and reread trying to figure out where she was and what w...

    I'll admit that I'm a sucker for most books reviewed on NPR, and many times disappointed. Perhaps because every now and then, I stumble across a story that moves my very soul. Laura Bell is not an eloquent writer, nor is she well seasoned. It's the rawness and emotional exposure that s...

    This was exactly what I needed to read right now. Spare and solemn, this memoir reflected a lot of my own feelings of loss and of disappointment and deep yearning to find my place in this world. But in experiencing a reminder of those feelings, I am also reminded of the conviction that...

    Beautifully-written memoir by a woman who goes out to Wyoming and becomes a sheep herder, among other interesting jobs. I loved this book. ...

    I listened to this book on audio over a month or so of driving to errands. The narration was great and the story my favorite kind - a memoir complete with a deep sense of place. Books like this make me understand the West whose landscape, while beautiful, often seems alien to me. ...

    In _Claiming Ground_, Laura Bell captures pitch-perfectly the essence of Wyoming land and life. Both spare and lyrical, her style paints painfully accurate images of a life spent on the high plains. I found myself reading passages aloud to my Wyoming-born partner, who agreed that Bell ...

    This book was a mixed bag. The author was eloquent in her descriptions of life in a way that pulled me in and made my heart ache to be back there. I have rarely seen someone who can capture the essence of a place so well as she painted word pictures of the landscape, weather, lifestyle...

    While much of this book was stunningly well-written, the part that I expected to like (young woman on her own herding sheep in Wyoming in the late 70s/early 80s) didn't draw me in, and I almost gave up after about 50 pages. The matter-of-fact, unemotional narrative is extremely effecti...

    An amazing communication of a land, its dimensions--weather, smells--if you could slowly run your hand over the border between Wyoming and Montana, east of Yellowstone, it would feel like Bell's account. Link that sense with the gradual revelation of her soul, without sentimentality, a...

    I set the book down as I finished it thinking it was a gift to have read it. This kind of memoir leaves one in the one down position of having made a great new friend who doesn't know you. [return][return]Bell showed me a side of Wyoming I don't see. I see the belligerent rancher and o...

    If this is just another "wild west" memoir, then I'm the tooth fairy. Those of you that know me will be surprised that I loved reading this book. I got seriously invested in several of the characters and most of the "situations". I laughed, and cried, at the correct moments. For some r...

    This had the feel of a collection of personal essays, more than a narrative memoir. Bell's story was interesting, but I found myself wanting to know more of the people and the stories. Her focus was instead on the land and the language she was using. It was an excellent example of that...

    Wonderfully written. The descriptions of ranch life, raising sheep and cattle, as well as Wyoming landscapes and people are spot-on. ...

    Amazing life and written beautifully ...

    I have always been a sucker for a good nature memoir. The writing in this book is solid so I spread out the book for a long time - a chapter a night (or, if I was busy with other books, even longer). The loosely connected chapters each deal with a part of her life - her sheep herdi...

    Claiming Ground moved me. Laura Bell has a way of sharing deeply intimate experiences without having to directly say what they are. She possesses this delicate balance of exposing harsh truths without excuses or blame. She weaves her life through the beauty of Wyoming with ease. It tru...

  • Dianne Brady
    Jan 21, 2018

    5+? I'd like to share what beloved author Kent Haruf wrote about this memoir because I cannot do it justice. ?This is a book that compels you to the last sentence, both because of its sheer beauty and its profound meaning. It goes deep and way out to the edge, in beautifully co...

    With a heart as large as the "big sky" country she writes of, Laura Bell writes a memoir that intertwines a sense of place and the sense of what it means to be alive. Bell recounts her years working with sheep and cows in Wyoming, living a spartan life from a material standpoint, bu...

    This book was beautifully written, and the author's love of nature, animals, and her adopted state of Wyoming and the West comes shining through on every page, but as a memoir, it was just okay. The author was honest about a lot of things, but secretive and reluctant about others, whic...

    Oh my goodness. This book washed over me like a spring rain, and I feel healed, awed, thunderstruck and new. It's a watercolor in book form, as Bell draws the words, the mountains form, the predawn mist rising reveals the woman, her horse and her dogs. We're immersed in the world she c...

    Whoever the critic was was that pronounced the death of the memoir was just plain wrong. Laura Bell's "Claiming Ground" is a wonderful, passionate clear-eyed look at one womans life that will resonate with the reader for many reasons - if the dictum that the "unexamined life isn't wort...

    People live such interesting lives. It must take a great amount of motivation and drive to put to paper the occurrences, thoughts and feelings of one's own life. And perhaps a measure of faith to think that someone else might find the telling of such a life worth reading. Ms. Bell h...

    What I recall of the author was a lovely little girl who liked to ride horses. Laura was one of five children of a preacher my family and I adored. Each child was different, talented, intelligent. Marsha, the sister that was my age was exuberant and fun to be around...Laura was younger...

    There is flea market in Laramie south of Interstate 80. Much of it is a warren of eight by eight cubicles some of which are filled with little more than yard sale cast-offs while others contain what would be considered treasure vaults by collectors of one type or another. Meandering...

    I wanted so much to rate this book higher because of the locale, the subject, the author. But why did Bell have to be so obscure? The pictures in my minds eye were never complete; I was always having to reread and think and pause and reread trying to figure out where she was and what w...

    I'll admit that I'm a sucker for most books reviewed on NPR, and many times disappointed. Perhaps because every now and then, I stumble across a story that moves my very soul. Laura Bell is not an eloquent writer, nor is she well seasoned. It's the rawness and emotional exposure that s...

    This was exactly what I needed to read right now. Spare and solemn, this memoir reflected a lot of my own feelings of loss and of disappointment and deep yearning to find my place in this world. But in experiencing a reminder of those feelings, I am also reminded of the conviction that...

    Beautifully-written memoir by a woman who goes out to Wyoming and becomes a sheep herder, among other interesting jobs. I loved this book. ...

    I listened to this book on audio over a month or so of driving to errands. The narration was great and the story my favorite kind - a memoir complete with a deep sense of place. Books like this make me understand the West whose landscape, while beautiful, often seems alien to me. ...

    In _Claiming Ground_, Laura Bell captures pitch-perfectly the essence of Wyoming land and life. Both spare and lyrical, her style paints painfully accurate images of a life spent on the high plains. I found myself reading passages aloud to my Wyoming-born partner, who agreed that Bell ...

    This book was a mixed bag. The author was eloquent in her descriptions of life in a way that pulled me in and made my heart ache to be back there. I have rarely seen someone who can capture the essence of a place so well as she painted word pictures of the landscape, weather, lifestyle...

    While much of this book was stunningly well-written, the part that I expected to like (young woman on her own herding sheep in Wyoming in the late 70s/early 80s) didn't draw me in, and I almost gave up after about 50 pages. The matter-of-fact, unemotional narrative is extremely effecti...

    An amazing communication of a land, its dimensions--weather, smells--if you could slowly run your hand over the border between Wyoming and Montana, east of Yellowstone, it would feel like Bell's account. Link that sense with the gradual revelation of her soul, without sentimentality, a...

    I set the book down as I finished it thinking it was a gift to have read it. This kind of memoir leaves one in the one down position of having made a great new friend who doesn't know you. [return][return]Bell showed me a side of Wyoming I don't see. I see the belligerent rancher and o...

    If this is just another "wild west" memoir, then I'm the tooth fairy. Those of you that know me will be surprised that I loved reading this book. I got seriously invested in several of the characters and most of the "situations". I laughed, and cried, at the correct moments. For some r...

    This had the feel of a collection of personal essays, more than a narrative memoir. Bell's story was interesting, but I found myself wanting to know more of the people and the stories. Her focus was instead on the land and the language she was using. It was an excellent example of that...

    Wonderfully written. The descriptions of ranch life, raising sheep and cattle, as well as Wyoming landscapes and people are spot-on. ...

    Amazing life and written beautifully ...

    I have always been a sucker for a good nature memoir. The writing in this book is solid so I spread out the book for a long time - a chapter a night (or, if I was busy with other books, even longer). The loosely connected chapters each deal with a part of her life - her sheep herdi...

    Claiming Ground moved me. Laura Bell has a way of sharing deeply intimate experiences without having to directly say what they are. She possesses this delicate balance of exposing harsh truths without excuses or blame. She weaves her life through the beauty of Wyoming with ease. It tru...

    I feel so lucky to have stumbled onto this unusual memoir of a life I could never have imagined. To choose the rough life of a sheep-herder in the harsh, wild landscape of Wyoming as a young woman takes an adventurous spirit, courage and incredible grit. Bell is a deft writer, tenderly...

    4.5 stars, pushing 5. I read a lot of ?people outside in the wilderness, grappling with their demons? memoirs. This one stands out. The writing is beautiful. Free of cliche, it gets to the nut of a sentiment or emotion. The book is honest about people: their flaws and failings are ...

    This is one of the best things I've read in a very long time. Laura Bell shows a tremendous amount of courage to write such and open and revealing memoir. I felt her solitude, loneliness, love and loss. It is beautifully written and it's one that I'll revisit again soon. It's one of on...

    Loved it! I grew up in Powell, my mother in Lovell, so this really took me home again. So many familiar names and places, including family names. If you're not from the area it gives an excellent overview of the hard work, dedication and emotional tolls it takes to live in this beau...

  • juddy18
    Aug 15, 2017

    5+? I'd like to share what beloved author Kent Haruf wrote about this memoir because I cannot do it justice. ?This is a book that compels you to the last sentence, both because of its sheer beauty and its profound meaning. It goes deep and way out to the edge, in beautifully co...

    With a heart as large as the "big sky" country she writes of, Laura Bell writes a memoir that intertwines a sense of place and the sense of what it means to be alive. Bell recounts her years working with sheep and cows in Wyoming, living a spartan life from a material standpoint, bu...

    This book was beautifully written, and the author's love of nature, animals, and her adopted state of Wyoming and the West comes shining through on every page, but as a memoir, it was just okay. The author was honest about a lot of things, but secretive and reluctant about others, whic...

    Oh my goodness. This book washed over me like a spring rain, and I feel healed, awed, thunderstruck and new. It's a watercolor in book form, as Bell draws the words, the mountains form, the predawn mist rising reveals the woman, her horse and her dogs. We're immersed in the world she c...

    Whoever the critic was was that pronounced the death of the memoir was just plain wrong. Laura Bell's "Claiming Ground" is a wonderful, passionate clear-eyed look at one womans life that will resonate with the reader for many reasons - if the dictum that the "unexamined life isn't wort...

    People live such interesting lives. It must take a great amount of motivation and drive to put to paper the occurrences, thoughts and feelings of one's own life. And perhaps a measure of faith to think that someone else might find the telling of such a life worth reading. Ms. Bell h...

    What I recall of the author was a lovely little girl who liked to ride horses. Laura was one of five children of a preacher my family and I adored. Each child was different, talented, intelligent. Marsha, the sister that was my age was exuberant and fun to be around...Laura was younger...

    There is flea market in Laramie south of Interstate 80. Much of it is a warren of eight by eight cubicles some of which are filled with little more than yard sale cast-offs while others contain what would be considered treasure vaults by collectors of one type or another. Meandering...

    I wanted so much to rate this book higher because of the locale, the subject, the author. But why did Bell have to be so obscure? The pictures in my minds eye were never complete; I was always having to reread and think and pause and reread trying to figure out where she was and what w...

    I'll admit that I'm a sucker for most books reviewed on NPR, and many times disappointed. Perhaps because every now and then, I stumble across a story that moves my very soul. Laura Bell is not an eloquent writer, nor is she well seasoned. It's the rawness and emotional exposure that s...

    This was exactly what I needed to read right now. Spare and solemn, this memoir reflected a lot of my own feelings of loss and of disappointment and deep yearning to find my place in this world. But in experiencing a reminder of those feelings, I am also reminded of the conviction that...

    Beautifully-written memoir by a woman who goes out to Wyoming and becomes a sheep herder, among other interesting jobs. I loved this book. ...

    I listened to this book on audio over a month or so of driving to errands. The narration was great and the story my favorite kind - a memoir complete with a deep sense of place. Books like this make me understand the West whose landscape, while beautiful, often seems alien to me. ...

    In _Claiming Ground_, Laura Bell captures pitch-perfectly the essence of Wyoming land and life. Both spare and lyrical, her style paints painfully accurate images of a life spent on the high plains. I found myself reading passages aloud to my Wyoming-born partner, who agreed that Bell ...

    This book was a mixed bag. The author was eloquent in her descriptions of life in a way that pulled me in and made my heart ache to be back there. I have rarely seen someone who can capture the essence of a place so well as she painted word pictures of the landscape, weather, lifestyle...

    While much of this book was stunningly well-written, the part that I expected to like (young woman on her own herding sheep in Wyoming in the late 70s/early 80s) didn't draw me in, and I almost gave up after about 50 pages. The matter-of-fact, unemotional narrative is extremely effecti...

    An amazing communication of a land, its dimensions--weather, smells--if you could slowly run your hand over the border between Wyoming and Montana, east of Yellowstone, it would feel like Bell's account. Link that sense with the gradual revelation of her soul, without sentimentality, a...

    I set the book down as I finished it thinking it was a gift to have read it. This kind of memoir leaves one in the one down position of having made a great new friend who doesn't know you. [return][return]Bell showed me a side of Wyoming I don't see. I see the belligerent rancher and o...

    If this is just another "wild west" memoir, then I'm the tooth fairy. Those of you that know me will be surprised that I loved reading this book. I got seriously invested in several of the characters and most of the "situations". I laughed, and cried, at the correct moments. For some r...

    This had the feel of a collection of personal essays, more than a narrative memoir. Bell's story was interesting, but I found myself wanting to know more of the people and the stories. Her focus was instead on the land and the language she was using. It was an excellent example of that...

    Wonderfully written. The descriptions of ranch life, raising sheep and cattle, as well as Wyoming landscapes and people are spot-on. ...

    Amazing life and written beautifully ...

    I have always been a sucker for a good nature memoir. The writing in this book is solid so I spread out the book for a long time - a chapter a night (or, if I was busy with other books, even longer). The loosely connected chapters each deal with a part of her life - her sheep herdi...