A deeply moving, remarkable story that takes readers on an unforgettable emotional journey…
In the moving latest from McPherson, the life of a middle-aged man is upended after a Hollywood crew led by a megastar arrives at his ranch to film a western. It’s been years since Jake lost his beloved wife Sarah. He still feels her loss, but life is otherwise content. When a Hollywood movie crew led by megastar Robert Lange descends on Circle J, the vast ranch where Jake works, to film a western, Jake is more than apprehensive. But the two men soon form a friendship, and Robert makes an extraordinary offer to Jake. Initially, Jake is reluctant, but a tragedy strikes, forcing him to accept Robert’s offer. Continuous plot twists contribute tension to this ingenious story about finding peace despite a legacy of loss and sadness. Told in third-person omniscient voice, the story beautifully depicts Jake’s inner turmoil, delving into his self-doubts, insecurities, fears, dreams, and hopes while revealing his search for purpose. The affecting narrative places readers alongside Jake, who, overwhelmed with the pain of losing his wife too early in life, is struggling to find his way. Readers will fall in love with the open-minded, unassuming cowboy, who despite his tragic circumstances, continues to show incredible resilience. McPherson’s choice to highlight the questions of grief, mental anguish, hope, and despair adds a note of poignancy to Robbie’s story. Alfie is authentic and relatable as a young man trying to find his way in life. McPherson is a master of pacing, and his vivid prose is a delight. He develops multilayered conflicts on multiple fronts, including romance between Jake and Doc, Robbie’s struggle as he tries to deal with his famous father’s absence, Alfie’s wayward ways, and he constructs poignant emotional scenes: the despair Jake feels after the fire kills his beloved horse is palpable, but it is his determination to move forward that resonates. By tracing Jake’s journey, McPherson highlights the power of human strength and perseverance. At the same time, he does a good job of evoking the western atmosphere. Throughout, the novel examines angst, friendship, and human connection along with questions of integrity, ethics, trust, duty, responsibility, and hope. Like Jake’s shifting circumstances in the story, this novel is so much more than the sum of its parts—an appealingly soul-searching literary tale that beautifully renders its protagonist’s search for fulfillment. Lovers of serious literature will be enthralled. A triumph.
Man Wanted in Cheyenne
Pub date January 31, 2023
Price $17.99 (USD) Paperback, $7.99 Kindle edition