We already know Amy Hale Auker can write, based on her award-winning memoir Rightful Place.
But can she write fiction? Can she create convincing characters out of empty paper and weave invented threads into a convincing story? She answers those questions in the affirmative in Winter of Beauty.
The book is set on a sprawling ranch and features a varied cast ranging from the owner and her unsure future, her manager and his fatigued marriage, a young cowboy troubled by his late father’s mysterious past, the sick old cowboy who raised him, a wannabe cowboy singer whose growing family stands between him and his dreams, and other well-made characters who grind along day to day to save the ranch and a way of life.
The story reaches its climax with the arrival of a baby named Beauty, who brings hope and renewed energy along with unexpected complications. Watching over it all is The Bride, a looming mountain where changing seasons and circumstances and the comings and goings of cattle and humans are of little lasting consequence.