* Minor spoiler(s) within my thoughts below. *
I finished "LDMSAS" in three days. As with all of Mr. Burke's work that I've read, the novel reminded me of why I came to love literature in the first place. In reading about Hackberry and Rie, I was also reminded of why I love people.
I've had the privilege to work with some good, caring folks on a variety of social and labor causes in my hometown. Hack's transformation in Pueblo Verde led me to recall how the social immersion of these experiences - the friendships formed, the new (perhaps even buried) facets of self discovered - are among life's greatest gifts. Hack caught quite a wave in this novel; to see him ride it out and take on adversity both within and without was just great.
LDMSAS reminded me that there's badness we can't run away from - the beatings, the guilt within us. I was also reminded that - if we listen to our better angels, if we work hard - things might just pan out alright and the ranch will remain in good hands. This novel's epilogue amounts to six of the most beautiful pages I've ever read; I'm sure I'll come back to it when hard times and moments of doubt roll around as they tend to do.
When a novel entertains me, I'm satisfied. When a novel enlightens me and gives my spirits a boost, I'm tremendously grateful. Mr. Burke - thanks for writing this wonderful book.
- Chris Lettera