Half in Love
Ann Patchett writes that “Maile Meloy writes with both fearlessness and true compassion, two talents that are rarely combined. In every story she creates a complex portrait of such disparate lives that by the end of the book I feel like I’ve seen the world. Half in Love is a vibrant, gorgeous collection.”
If you’re white, and you’re not rich or poor but somewhere in the middle, it’s hard to have worse luck than to be born a girl on a ranch. It doesn’t matter if your dad’s the foreman or the rancher–you’re still a ranch girl, and you’ve been dealt a bad hand.
If you’re the foreman’s daughter on Ted Haskell’s Running H cattle ranch, you live in the foreman’s house, on the dirt road between Haskell’s place and the barn. There are two bedrooms with walls made of particleboard, one bathroom (no tub), muddy boots and jackets in the living room, and a kitchen that’s never used. No one from school ever visits the ranch, so you can keep your room the way you decorated it at ten: a pink comforter, horse posters on the walls, plastic horse models on the shelves. Outside there’s an old cow-dog with a ruined hip, a barn cat who sleeps in the rafters, and, until he dies, a runt calf named Minute, who cries at night by the front door.