Cover image for The last good man
Title:
The last good man
Author:
Eagle, Kathleen.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Morrow, [2000]

©2000
Physical Description:
374 pages ; 25 cm
Language:
English
Geographic Term:
ISBN:
9780380978151
Format :
Book

Available:*

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Summary

Summary

"In her latest triumphant novel, Kathleen Eagle has created an unforgettable tale of a man and woman poised at one of life's great crossroads. Exquisitely capturing the magnificence of the human spirit, Eagle demonstrates all the qualities that have made her so beloved a storyteller, weaving a beautifully textured tapestry rich in laughter, tears, and desire -- and the power of love to work miracles.

The Last Good Man

Savannah Stephens has finally come home to the purple hills of Sunbonnet, Wyoming, after years of living a life far different from the one she's known. But her return has set Sunbonnet's queen bees buzzing. Why has this successful woman returned home? And where is the unknown father of Claudia, the beautiful six-year-old daughter she brought with her?

But Savannah isn't talking. Not to her Aunt Billie who raised her, and not to the childhood friends she left behind. Savannah's been hurt deeply, and the worst scars of all --the ones she's sure will never heal -- are the ones that no one can see or touch. But one person refuses to let her retreat in isolation. When Savannah went east to find fame and fortune, strong, silent Clay stayed in Sunbonnet and tended his horses. But his steadfast love for Savannah never wavered, and he's not going to give up on her now.

Soon Savannah cannot help but yield to the force of a man with the heart, soul, and grit to persist. For her heart knows that she hides from the on


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Eagle's western romance contains a message of hope for women with breast cancer. Fashion model Savannah Stephens has come back to Sunbonnet, Wyoming, with a six-year-old daughter. The small community is abuzz, but few have actually seen Savannah, who is hiding out in the apartment upstairs from her aunt's store. She hasn't worked in years and is broke and scared about her chances for survival after breast cancer surgery. Clay Keogh, local rancher and her best friend before she moved to New York, realizes that he still loves Savannah and tries to work on her the gentle magic that soothes his horses. He befriends her daughter and tries but fails to get close to Savannah, with whom he has frantic sex without achieving true intimacy. The problem is that having lost her perfect body, Savannah believes she has no real worth. Hard choices and sad stories are part of this compelling tale about the value of love and dreams in the struggle to not only survive, but to truly live. --Patty Engelmann


Publisher's Weekly Review

The familiar "will she or won't she" theme is given a serious twist in Eagle's latest (after What The Heart Knows), combining a solid western/romance plot with more complex, contemporary issues. Salt of the earth Clay Keogh, rancher and farmer, has heard the smalltown whispers: gorgeous Savannah Stephens is back in Sunbonnet, Wyo. The famous model is surrounded by mystery, especially because her small daughter looks exactly like Savannah's first love, the romantic and dangerous Indian activist Kole Catches Crow. Clay, Savannah's childhood friend and Kole's half-brother, has always been in the shadow of his romantic and dangerous sibling, and he's also always carried a torch for Savannah. Desperate to break through her serious depression, he offers her a marriage of security. Though Savannah accepts those terms, she slowly realizes that she wants to forge a real marriage with Clay. That is, if she can deal with his ex-wife, Roxie, and her kids and Clay's tough mother, Patty. Savannah has happiness within her reach, but she harbors a painful secret that she's afraid to admit to her adoring husband, and he, in turn, remains afraid that she'll decide to take up her old life. Eagle draws her main characters with substance and her supporting characters with verve. Savannah's daughter, Claudia, is a charmer who plays a surprising role in the narrative, and while Kole is something of a red herring, he's an effective story facilitator. (Aug.) CURTAIN CREEK FARM Nance Van Winckel. Persea/Braziller, $22 ISBN 0-89255-250-6 ~ An anarchist commune in Washington State, founded in the '60s, survived the disenchantments of the next decades, but its idealistic inhabitants are shaken when one of their longtime members, Lila, dies of cancer at age 50. Poet and fiction writer Van Winckel's (After a Spell; Quake) collection of eight interconnected stories tenderly and honestly describes the joys, compromises, dreams and hard realities of the farm, "a world away from the world." In truth, a generation after the farm's inception, the collective collides with the outside world more often than not. Lila's herpetologist son, Russell, is seriously enamored of Lila's friend, Geneva, in "The Lap of Luxury." In "Making Headway," Roxanne gives Geneva deep-tissue massages, and knows that her back problems stem from being "spooked by love"; that is, she's afraid to accept Russell's devotion, because he's 15 years her junior. Roxanne's husband is long gone, prompting advances from Frito, a nomadic Web designer. The children of the community poignantly respond to Lila's death by organizing mock funerals for kittens, possums and other animals, even staging one for a four-year-old playmate ("The Land of Anarchy"). This ceremony is interrupted by the appearance of a cougar, one moment of many where Van Winckel's canny symbolism satisfyingly vexes the distinction between nature and culture. The children, meanwhile, demarcate the thin line between the commune's stubbornly radical vision and its inescapable participation in various social constructs. In the final story, "Treat Me Nice," this division is beautifully transcended. Francine, a nurse, encounters an Elvis imitator with a mysterious injury, whom she marries on the farm. At the wedding, 12 other Elvis imitators, singing "All Shook Up," parachute to earth from a plane high above. The narrative is chock-full of surprising images like this one, as Van Winckel merges popular culture and utopian lifestyles with rosy, generous vision. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

When beautiful model Savannah Stephens comes back to Sunbonnet, WY, to care for the woman who raised her, she brings a six-year-old daughter, a brave if wounded spirit, and the need to heal. But Savannah's return also brings a mystery: who is the father of her daughter, and why has Savannah come home? The answers are slow in coming, but longtime friend Clay Keogh is determined to helpDand he is there with his love when Savannah needs him the most. In this hard-hitting, down-to-earth romance, Eagle turns her considerable skills to the very real issues of breast cancer, reconstructive surgery, and the emotional aftermath. Readers are given not just a poignant, satisfying romance but a realistic yet hopeful look at a situation that many women will face. Eagle (What the Heart Knows) is a highly regarded writer of emotionally involving romances who lives in the Minneapolis area. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 4/15/00.] (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

The Last Good Man The queen bees of Sunbonnet, Wyoming, were all abuzz. Savannah Stephens was back, in the flesh this time. How long had it been since the last time they′d pulled Savannah, dressed only in satin bra and lace panties, out of their mailboxes? She′d been quite the regular fixture on the cover of that mail-order catalogue for quite a while. Of course, everyone knew all about how those pictures got touched up. But they had to admit, Savannah had the basic equipment. And it was all natural. She was born and raised right there in Sunbonnet. She was all-natural. That dewy-eyed smile had been just the right counterpoint for the flawless body of a woman who didn′t have to think twice about walking around in broad daylight wearing nothing but pretty under-wear. Then suddenly she′d vanished. Air-brushed clean away, as though somebody had thrown a coat over her and dragged her back into the house. Had it been three years ago, maybe five? The drones had noticed right away when it happened, but they hadn′t said much. Once Savannah was gone, the men had gotten their catalogue back. If anybody was to order anything, it was probably going to be a man. He′d send for something black and lacy for his own lady, something she would put on for him, just so he could take it off. The next morning she would tuck it away in a drawer, and he′d never see it again. Then it was back to the mailbox again. Sure, the men missed seeing Savannah, but there was still plenty of diversion on the cover of Lady Elizabeth′s Dreamwear Catalogue. Still, the women pondered aloud on occasion. What ever became of Savannah Stephens? Some had heard she′d found greener pastures, but there were all sorts of tales about the nature of green. A movie mogul with a pocketful of green had her stashed in a cottage beside the green sea. Or she′d starved herself like they all did to stay slim, taken to eating nothing but lettuce and drinking green tea, and she′d just wasted away. Some said she′d made so much green herself, she′d been able to retire and get fat. Heck, she always was pretty sassy. The ebb and flow of such comments depended on the weather and what else was in the news, but they never sloshed through the door of the Sunbonnet Mercantile, owned and operated by Billie Larsen, the only relative Savannah had left in Sunbonnet. Or anywhere else, as far as anyone knew. The old general store was a gallery of pictures of Savannah dressed in pretty suits and glamorous evening clothes. The catalogues were stashed underneath the counter. Billie was proud of those, too, but she didn′t tack them on the wall. Whenever anyone asked, Billie said that her niece was taking some time off from her modelling career. The response hadn′t changed in five years. Conventional wisdom calculated that it had probably been five years since Billie had heard from her once famous niece, and the conventionally wise were not surprised to hear she′d finally come home with her tail tucked between her legs. It just proved that New York City was no place for a nice girl from Wyoming. It was bitch eat bitch in places like New York and L.A., or so the females of Sunbonnet had heard. And so they were fond of saying. The males of Sunbonnet still weren′t saying much. They couldn′t imagine pastures any greener than the pages of Lady Elizabeth′s Dreamwear Catalogue. The thought of that tail and those legs coming home to Sunbormet seemed too damn good to be true. They′d have to see to believe, and so far, the sightings had been few. But she was surely back. Even if every person Clay Keogh tipped his hat to hadn′t mentioned it hard on the heels of saying how quickly the weather had changed this week, he would have known she was close by. Suddenly the clean, dry Wyoming air carried her scent again. He′d parked his pickup in the shade of the loafing shed behind the Sunbonnet Mercantile, which was the oldest building in town. He was careful not to glance at the upstairs windows as he unloaded the tools of his trade. He had as good a buzz on as any bee, and he hadn′t even had a drink in weeks. His face flamed in the shade of his cap as he took a quick inventory of the handles in his toolbox. He could have sworn he had Tabasco sauce coursing through his veins, a notion that made him chuckle. Dearly did he love anything spicy, but cayenne in his blood? Not likely. Wyoming dirt made him red-blooded, pure and plain. Was she upstairs in her aunt Billie′s spare room, fixing a face that never needed any fixing? Or was she downstairs, helping out behind the counter, the way she used to when they were kids? He hadn′t noticed any cowboys lining up to buy a pack of gum they might never open or a postage stamp for a letter they′d surely never write. If he hurried, maybe he could be first. The Last Good Man . Copyright © by Kathleen Eagle . Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from The Last Good Man by Kathleen Eagle 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.