2002 1st edition; Alfred A. Knopf publishers, New York; hardbound in marble and burgundy boards with silver lettering along spine; very good condition with unmarked pages, appears unread; pictoral dust jacket very good.
The Whitelaw patriach, Sunny Jim, exerts his perverse control even in death, by means of a will that binds the family fortune to a marriage that ought to be rent asunder. The charms of this particular son-in-law, lately released from prison, are potent, especially as regards his estranged wife.
Sunny Jim Whitelaw, a descendent of pioneers and owner of a large bottling plant, may have died, but he has no intention of relinquishing control: his will specifies that no one gets a cent unless his daughter Evelyn reconciles with her estranged husband, Paul. But Evelyn is a strong-willed woman, fiercely attached to the land, whose horses transport her to a West she feels is disappearing, while Paul is a suave manipulator, without scruples, intent on living well.
As played out on the majestic stage of Montana cattle country, the ensuing drama involves blood, money, sex, vengeance, and a cross-dressing rancher. The Cadence of Grass is renewed evidence that McGuane is one of the finest writers we have, capable of simultaneously burnishing and demolishing the mythology of the West while doing rope tricks with the English language.