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Berrigan's Ride is a novel of love, abandonment and acceptance set primarily in Hot Spring District, Madison County, in southwestern Montana (Norris), 1866 - 1868, and a drama of symbolic healing between North and South after the Civil War. Paperback. 284 pages. September 2016. ISBN: 978-1-892784-37-7. $16.00
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"The first attempt I've read to create in fiction the post-war trauma experience of 1860s veterans of both sides of the Civil War residing in Montana Territory... a good read."
--Jeffrey J. Safford, PhD, author Mechanics of Optimism
About the Author: Jan Elpel, Psy.D, grew up near the Headwaters of the Missouri River. That sense of history frames the stories she creates set in the mid-nineteenth century. Her family's (Jewett's) lifestyle among descendants of early immigrants in the 1940s was little different than that of the settlers in Berrigan's Ride eighty years earlier. She wrote the 1958 John Colter pageant for the original Colter's Run in Three Forks, Montana. Her family later moved to historic gold camps of Virginia City and Pony. Elpel's series of historical novels celebrate the wild horses of Madison and Jefferson counties, and the Jewett's herd of horses that thundered off the dry hills to water at the handpump in front of the Parker Homestead.
"I am impressed with how much careful work went into the manuscript. The attention to historic accuracy and detail, the poetic descriptions of landscape and flora, and the vistas and scenes. And with a style of dialogue that seemed quite 'in period.' It seemed to me there was a consistency that made it a fast and easy read.
--Theodora Kreps, PhD (Ret.) Anthropology, Stanford University
"Berrigan's Ride is neither a romance novel nor a western. There are no great heroes or villains. Rather, the characters are refreshingly ordinary and believable. These are regular people navigating their way through nineteenth-century life with all their hopes and dreams, tragedies and pain, love and loss. Above all, it is a tale about relationships, of overcoming wounds of the past to find healing among family and friends and most of all, within oneself. Jan Elpel has written a heartfelt novel that anyone can identify with and enjoy.
--Thomas J. Elpel,
Thomas J. Elpel
in a Day