Blind Your Ponies
By Stanley Gordon West
(Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, Paperback, 9781565129849, 546pp.)
Publication Date: January 2011
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Hope is hard to come by in the hard-luck town of Willow Creek. Sam Pickett and five young men are about to change that. Sam Pickett never expected to settle in this dried-up shell of a town on the western edge of the world. He's come here to hide from the violence and madness that have shattered his life, but what he finds is what he least expects. There's a spirit that endures in Willow Creek, Montana. It seems that every inhabitant of this forgotten outpost has a story, a reason for taking a detour to this place--or a reason for staying. As the coach of the hapless high school basketball team (zero wins, ninety-three losses), Sam can't help but be moved by the bravery he witnesses in the everyday lives of people--including his own young players--bearing their sorrows and broken dreams. How do they carry on, believing in a future that seems to be based on the flimsiest of promises? Drawing on the strength of the boys on the team, sharing the hope they display despite insurmountable odds, Sam finally begins to see a future worth living.Author Stanley Gordon West has filled the town of Willow Creek with characters so vividly cast that they become real as relatives, and their stories--so full of humor and passion, loss and determination--illuminate a path into the human heart.