Cover image for The Wilder sisters : a novel
Title:
The Wilder sisters : a novel
Author:
Mapson, Jo-Ann.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : HarperFlamingo, [1999]

©1999
Physical Description:
ix, 364 pages ; 25 cm
Language:
English
Subject Term:
Geographic Term:
ISBN:
9780060191160
Format :
Book

Available:*

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Central Library X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Kenmore Library X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
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Summary

Summary

Set in Floralee, New Mexico, The Wilder Sisters introduces two sisters who fall in love with men when they least expect it--and most need it. Rose, at forty, the older, more practical one, lost her husband two years earlier when he was killed by a drunk driver, leaving her in New Mexico with two ungrateful twentysomething kids, a bored dog, and a horse with a bad back. Employed as a bookkeeper to a local veterinarian, Rose and her boss, Dr. Austin Donavan, share a love of animals and an intimate yet platonic friendship, each staving off the urge to initiate a romantic relationship. Austin is a man with an ex-wife and a drinking problem, and Rose is trying to block out the bad memories of an unfaithful husband.

Lily, the beautiful, younger, more daring sister, lives in a tiny condo in Southern California with her cherished dog, Buddy Guy. A woman who has put her career before everything else, she has had more than her share of selfish lovers but has yet to have a taste of love. Each woman needs a well-deserved break from the stresses of her personal and professional life. Lily flees to El Rancho Costa Plente, their parents' ranch in Floralee, for some emotional detox, leaving all responsibility behind in California. At the same time Rose, weary of caring for Austin and aching from the departure of her two nearly grown children, sets out for the ranch to take a much-needed vacation. A time-out from their problems would seem to be the perfect cure for what ails the Wilder sisters. But the two haven't spoken in five long years, and spending time together is the last thing they'd planned. Nor had either anticipated being so actively pursued by lovestruck men--Rose by her boss, and Lily by an old boyfriend who has grown even sexier over the years.

The Wilder sisters are earthy, smart, and strong-willed yet surprisingly vulnerable Western women. Readers will be in their corner all the way as they rediscover the bonds of sisterhood and slowly open their hearts to love.


Author Notes

Jo-Ann Mapson is the author of five previous novels, including "The Wilder Sisters" & "Blue Rodeo", which was made into a CBS TV movie starring Kris Kristofferson & Ann Margaret. She lives in Costa Mesa, California.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Mapson introduces us to Lily and Rose Wilder, the daughters of a rancher and his beautiful activist spouse. The sisters return to the home ranch as they face their own midlife crises. Lily is tired of her high-powered, travel-intense California sales job and her own taste in men. Rose, recently widowed, nurses a tentative affection for the veterinarian she works for and wonders why her adolescent children turned out so badly. Set in Floralee, New Mexico, the novel is drenched in local color and scent: the landmarks and the scenery nestle naturally into the tale. The sisters wrestle with desire in ways that reflect both their ancient Latina, Navajo, and Anglo heritage and their place in a world that we recognize as now. They wrestle with each other, too, the still-smarting pressures of being the children of strong-minded parents; the pressures of money, or lack of it; and a pervasive cherishing of the dogs and horses that are as close to their lives as their own breath. Above all, though, this is a tasty romance, as Lily rediscovers the man she left behind and Rose lends just enough strength to the veterinarian so he can recover both from his ex-wife and from the bottle. There's great stuff here: luscious sex scenes; hilarious encounters with wayward children; family talk and family sorrow; and a respectful delineation of several kinds of religious faith as a natural part of living. (Reviewed May 1, 1999)0060191163GraceAnne A. DeCandido


Excerpts

Excerpts

The Wilder Sisters A Novel Chapter One I used to love my children," Rose Wilder Flynn said as she held the mare's bound tail aside so the vet, his gloved and greased arm sunk up to the shoulder inside the horse, could palpate the horns of the uterus for signs of pregnancy. "Sesame Street Band-Aids, scout meetings, classroom cupcakes with the little colored jimmies. Once upon a time, Austin, I did the whole nine yards for them." Austin Donavan, DVM, rotated his arm inside Miss Winky, Rose's five-year-old quarter horse. "I believe you. It's easy enough to love them when they're small." I should have had a passel of kids instead of stopping at two. Yes, with three or more offspring, my odds would definitely improve. "How's that?" "Because at any given time one of them is bound to need a loan, a ride somewhere, or a babysitter." Austin smiled. "I suppose. A faraway look came over the vet's face as he pressed forward and down, gently palpating and massaging. Miss Winky, who had earned her nickname for advertising her business end when she was in season, tolerated the inspection with dignity, probably because her upper lip was caught in the bind of a humane twitch. The device, which looked like a nutcracker pinching Winky's upper lip, in reality was releasing endorphins so she wasn't in any pain. Rose scratched the mare's neck with her free hand while murmuring words of encouragement. it was not exactly the kind of treatment Rose herself received when she saw the gynecologist, but why not calm the horse down if it made Austin's job easier? He turned his face toward her. The vet was clean-shaven and unsmiling, and though it appeared he was looking directly at Rose, she knew he was concentrating on the mare. They stood no more than two inches apart, their boot tips touching. Over the healthy scents of alfalfa and nervous horse, Rose could detect the soap Austin had used that morning to wash his face. Nothing fancy, but compared to his usual stink of alcohol, soap smelled like cologne. Then he smiled, and Rose's heart fluttered for a single beat. Oh, let it be! Winky hadn't caught on the first attempt at breeding, back in March. They'd tried again late in May, July, and August. Pregnancy in maiden mares could be detected as soon as thirty days after breeding, if the exam was performed by an experienced vet. Rose crossed her fingers. "Is she?" "Knocked up like a cheerleader," he said. "I can feel it along the bottom of the left uterine horn, about the size of an orange.' He withdrew his arm and rolled off the lubricated sleeve, throwing it into the back of his pickup. "Barring unforeseen circumstances, you'll have yourself a foal next summer, Rose. Going to trailer her up to your dad's?" "Yes. Soon." Maybe, if she got her way, this very weekend. "I'll set up a vaccine schedule, and you give it to Shep or your father. Meanwhile, start her on supplements. I'll fetch you some samples from my truck.' Rose unwound the string from the twitch, put it away in the barn, then using a garden hose, washed the mare's butt clean of the slippery lubricant. She turned Winky out into the small arena that took up most of her backyard. Cut loose, the nervous horse squealed once, kicked at the fence, then resumed her usual behavior, which involved standing at the rail, gossiping to Max, the elderly bay gelding who technically belonged to Rose's absent daughter, Amanda. Dr. Donavan set the patient file on the seat of his truck and flipped through the boxes of medical supplies. Rose had seen him give them away to patients who couldn't afford proper veterinary care. His thick brown hair was cropped close, almost down to a burr. It looked as if he'd given himself the haircut with the same kind of shears Rose used to clip her horses. Over his ears some gray was beginning to creep in. They had known each other almost all their lives, and had been friends for the last ten. Rose remembered a time when Austin's hair was long enough to touch his collar. At the time she'd been too young for him to notice, but she'd always had in mind that there'd come a day she'd run her fingers through that hair. Now it was gone, and the moment for that had passed, too. "Lately I've been thinking about children," Austin said. "Now that I'm into my fifties, sort of wish I'd had a couple." The question that immediately came to mind was, What stopped you? Every resident of Floralee, New Mexico, believed the reason Austin Donavan had remained childless was his wife's-well, Leah was his ex -wife now-vanity. She was extraordinarily pretty--cover-girl material, people often remarked. Rose would never come right out and ask, but she suspected that some kind of infertility issue was going on there and had been a contributing factor to the Donavan divorce. She wished she'd thought twice before complaining about her own kids. Trying to make light of her words, she said, "Oh, come spend a week here. The collect calls will convince you otherwise. Everyone seems to think I have a built-in mother compass when it comes to my children's whereabouts, and at the end of the month, I get to pay for telling them I haven't a clue." Austin laughed, and Rose relaxed. She rolled up the hose, hung it over a nail protruding from a side of the barn where the horses couldn't get to it, and walked out of the arena and into the small yard, where a clothesline was strung between two trees. She bent over a wicker laundry basket half full of dry clothes and began folding. The Wilder Sisters A Novel . Copyright © by Jo-Ann Mapson. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from The Wilder Sisters: A Novel by Jo-Ann Mapson All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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