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THE SEVENTH WINTER by Hal Borland

THE SEVENTH WINTER

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Pub Date: Feb. 19th, 1959
Publisher: Lippincott

Jeff Ross, a successful cattleman, with a 10,000 head ranch outside of Denver, in 1871, is reminded by his best friend and foreman when a snow storm begins to look like a blizzard, that this is a seventh winter and likely to mean disaster. The framework of the novel is the heroic effort of the men to save the cattle. The story of Jeff's unhappy first love affair, his marriage to a good and loving woman, his experiences in the cavalry in the Civil War, his inadequacy as a husband and as the father of two girls as well as a defective son, is told in flashbacks- from the points of view of the several important characters in the novel. There is an unlikely meeting between Jeff and his first love, whose healthy son might be his- but she has become hard and calculating. This returns Jeff to his family, to find that he has lost most of his cattle, and his foreman who died in protecting his interests. But he has found a new meaning in life. There is good descriptive writing, with some exciting pictures of the buffalo herds sweeping the cattle along with them through the blizzard, but the story line, while never dull, is fairly obvious.