4 out of 4 stars
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Beaty Butte by David Martin Anderson is a profound story based on the ancient Crow Indian belief that a person lives many alternate lives in the same timeline based on the decisions they make.
In 1939 Billy was only seventeen when he was faced with his first major life-altering decision: He killed an evil man. He was not a bad person. The murderous feat was provoked by the insane and unnecessary killing of wild mustangs and his desire to keep alive the last remaining herd on Pryor Mountain.
Ten years later, Billy was faced with another fork in the road after being granted two days of secret leave by the Warden to attend a mutual friend’s funeral. If he turned right in the road, he would head back to prison and try to help his fellow inmates turn their lives around with the wild horse rescue program. If he turned left, he could escape Montana State Penitentiary and flee to Oregon to find the daughter of his long lost love.
The author perfectly blended three alternate realities into one superbly striking story. Written with a first-person perspective, it is impossible not to fall completely in love with the main protagonist. Not to mention the magnificently fleshed out supporting characters. The reader gets the opportunity to see three different endings to three different stories. All three endings of this book left me feeling satisfied, crying happy tears, and sporting delighted goosebumps. Anderson did not hold back on this exquisite piece of literature.
There is absolutely nothing I disliked about this book, and so much I loved. Even though the book is fictional, it does a wonderful job of seeming quite realistic. I was coerced by the descriptive landscapes and mountains and ended up doing a little googling of my own. There is a real Beaty Butte Wild Horse Training Facility that tames the wild horses in the 437,120-acre area, and eventually allows adoption and homing of these extraordinary creatures. This book is dedicated to the volunteers of this awesome program.
With minimal borderline profanity and only mild suggestion of a sexual nature, this book is safe for readers as young as 12 to enjoy. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves reading about horses, friendship, love, fighting for what you feel is right and of course the mysterious possibility of having alternate realities. I won’t recommend it to readers younger than 12 as it contains some violence. If you do not enjoy reading about ranches and the cowboy lifestyle or feel offended when reading about Indian Tribal rituals, I would suggest you steer clear of this novel.
I almost instantly knew that I would give this book a perfect 4 out of 4 stars. It is impeccably edited, and I had to search to find any errors. I look forward to reading more books by this gifted author.
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