Description of Unbroken:
Gwen Swan’s dreams of a life as a rancher’s wife have withered through years of 24/7 chores and warring family members. Bitterness has tarnished her outlook and troubles with her son, Rory, burden her hopes for the future.
Meg Braeburn, who has broken away from her family’s ranch, expects hard work when she takes a job on the place neighboring the Swans’. She is determined to leave a troubled past behind, yet she does not foresee how isolation will corrode her resolve. Over time, she is grateful for the friendship and support that Gwen extends to her.
But as the ranching seasons grind relentlessly onward, hearts seek comfort where it can be found and the womens’ bond is strained as both the Swan family and the Braeburn family find themselves struggling against the elements and each other to continue their way of life.
Unbroken, is the 2011 winner of the WILLA Literary Award for outstanding contemporary fiction.
Comments from the WILLA judges:
“Forbes’ debut novel is powerful and she presents a host of characters who are all complex emotionally flawed beings. . .”
“What an amazing story about strength and weakness, and about how grinding disappointment and endless hard work play out in people’s lives.”
“Unbroken is a powerful, absorbing book from the first page to the last. Forbes’ Wyoming ranch background adds rich flavors to the story. The author draws realistic, complex characters. Unbroken is an unvarnished testimonial to a way of life that few of us know.“-Mary E. Trimble, Author
“Jamie Lisa Forbes’ exquisitely written debut work, “Unbroken”, has a permanent place in my heart. The author’s own early years on a Wyoming ranch add an insider’s observations which enrich the story line and bring vivid, fully-fleshed life to the characters. The author’s subtle storytelling places us right into the lives of these characters, sharing with them their tragedies and triumphs. In an intimate, involving manner we follow them through with their starts, stops, and restarts, and we want so much for them to find peaceful resolution. “Unbroken” is unforgettable.”-Virginia Campbell, Vine Voice: Amazon Reviewer
“I was roped into the story by the lyrical poetic style of the author from page one. To my surprise–I never thought I would be interested in reading about ranching life and wrangling cows–I could not put the book down until I’d read the last page. I recommend this very well-written novel to everyone. It left me with a sense of enrichment, of knowing and feeling more than before the reading. Truly a great book!- Nel Rand,Amazon Reviewer
“What a thoroughly absorbing and entertaining story, told by a first time author! I was impressed on so many levels. The story itself held interest, the manner in which it was told and the descriptions of a life few of us know about as well as the pace and timing of the story, were done with the flare of a far more experienced author. This book should appeal to both men and women.- BassLady, Amazon
About Jamie Lisa Forbes:
Jamie Lisa Forbes was born and raised on a family ranch along the Little Laramie River in southeast Wyoming. After graduation from the University of Colorado in 1977, she studied and worked in Israel for over a year and then returned to Wyoming where she ranched and raised a family for the next 15 years. After the family ranch was sold in 1993, she moved to North Carolina and eventually began law school at the University of North Carolina. While in law school, she started her debut novel, Unbroken. Unbroken won the 2011 WILLA Literary Award for outstanding contemporary fiction featuring women in the West. Ms. Forbes practices law in Greensboro, North Carolina and is working on a second novel.