About the Book
In Open Spaces tells the story of Blake Arbuckle’s coming of age on the family ranch in Carter County, Montana. Beginning in the 1910s and concluding in the 1940s, the novel shows how Blake navigates tragedy, family conflict, tough weather and the ranching business. Blake turns out to be a survivor with a penchant for dry wit and a great curve ball. Rowland’s novel locates the reader in an often overlooked part of the state through the self-effacing but engaging voice of his protagonist.
“Russell Rowland has given us a vivid and distinctive piece of homespun to take its proper place in the literary quilt of the West.”
— Ivan Doig on In Open Spaces
While the settings in In Open Spaces clearly reference actual locales, it is understood that the book—including its places—is ultimately the product of the author’s imagination. The intent of this literary map is to enrich the reading experience by interpreting those places, not to render them literally or definitively.