“… and if you can’t fix it you’ve got to stand it.”
Ennis del Mar and Jack Twist, two ranch hands, come together when they’re working as sheepherder and camp tender one summer on a range above the tree line. At first, sharing an isolated tent, the attraction is casual, inevitable, but something deeper catches them that summer.
Both men work hard, marry, and have kids because that’s what cowboys do. But over the course of many years and frequent separations this relationship becomes the most important thing in their lives, and they do anything they can to preserve it.
Short story by Annie Proulx published in The New Yorker October 13, 1997.
I did not expect to like this story as much as I did but by the time I finished reading it, it left me feeling very emotional. I’m talking heart clenching, verge of tears.
This is a very short book, my copy only has 55 pages. I read it in about two hours.
Because it is so short, there’s not a lot of character development or background to the story. Being a short-story, it didn’t need all the extra information. It told me all I needed to know. Although, maybe I ‘wanted’ more…
I both liked and disliked Ennis and Jack. They are both headstrong and proud but also trapped in what society expects from them. In the beginning of the story they are young and wild, then they grow into a married life, each of them going their own way.
The ‘want’ that’s portrayed when they meet again is so powerful.
I’m really impressed by this story and the way it was written. Not sure if I want to read more Annie Proulx but I liked this one A LOT!
If you’re looking for something short to read, I’d definitely recommend this one.