Mr. Bowen is a transplanted American and Science Fiction author who lived through and experienced the Vietnam era. Like many returning vets of the time he struggled with the hostility and rejection of his fellow countrymen. He has resided in the Netherlands with his lovely wife for decades. Now retired, he writes full time. I appreciate his taking time from his new book to review “Wind River Refuge.” Pick up a copy of “Altercations.” I’ve read this and await the follow up book with anticipation. J.M.Anton
Review by: Reynold Bowen on July 18, 2013 :
Review of Wind River Refuge
by J. M. Anton
©2013 J. M. Anton
Cover photo by Kellie
Graphic design by S. Shipley
Thesis: This book is a story about Jax, a young woman who is about to graduate from a university in North Carolina, but decides to go home to her step parent’s ranch in Wyoming for Christmas break. It takes place in the 1970s when the Vietnam War was the basis of many family hardships.
The Story: The prologue begins the book by telling the short story about Cindy, a high school cheerleader who decided not to take a ride home from her new boyfriend. Her old boy friend’s cousin stepped in and offered her a ride, but as she would not do the things he was expecting her to do, she escaped his clutches, and ran from the car. As she tried to find her coat in the falling snow, she thought of ways that she would make him pay for his ill manners when she saw him again. Unfortunately, she never made it home.
The actual book begins when Jax, the heroine, is on her way home from Raleigh, North Carolina, to the Double D ranch in Wyoming. Dexter’s ill-mannered cousin Garret McBride, now back from Vietnam after being badly wounded, has been sent to Denver to pick her up for the final leg of the journey, and he has been told that there is a very angry step mother with a shotgun waiting for Jax, so she had better arrive in perfect health.
Jax, and Garret start off on the wrong foot, and their non-relationship goes downhill from there. This becomes even more worrying as Jax returns again in the spring after graduating, and someone attempts to murder her.
How Jax finds out who her assailant really is, and how she resolves the problem keeps the reader occupied, and on the edge of his or her seat throughout the story. It is well written, and the realistic characters have the right dialog to keep the story going while the narrative constantly reminds the reader that the author’s heart lives out in the west. The author describes winter, and spring in the Rocky Mountains so well, and with so much enthusiasm, that it is difficult not to want to move there instantly.
J. M. Anton’s last book used Texas as a background, while this book moves a few states north, and makes the reader want to read her next adventure not only to follow the exciting story, but also to see where she will go next. Finally, this adventure takes place towards the end of the Vietnam War, and again lets everyone know just how many problems the soldiers of that era brought back with them.
This book is a good story, with a plot that always keeps the reader on track until the climax. J.M. Anton, please keep this quality of work coming in your future books.