BOOK REVIEW: Idaho writer tells tales of life on the sagebrush plains

rbennett@idahostatesman.comJuly 7, 2013 

  • 'UNSETTLED TERRITORY' by Leslie Ann Leek; Blue Scarab Press

"Unsettled Territory" is a series of short stories that come from the outback of East and Central Idaho - the small towns, snow-capped mountain ranges, dry canyons, willow-lined rivers and sagebrush distances that go on forever, beneath skies so enormous the imagination gets lost beneath them.

Leslie Ann Leek grew up in those small towns, wandered those distances and brought back stories about the men and women who share life in an open-hearted emptiness and a desolate, joyous freedom.

This is her second collection of stories.

My take: Leek's book starts off strong with "Fishing Killdeer Creek" and keeps up a strong and steady pace throughout the book up until the end, "On the Edge of the Snake River Plain."

It's clear that Leek is a skilled writer, creating a detailed and rich setting for each and every one of her stories; with a smoothness that makes the reading easy and fun.

I found myself getting lost in the tales several different times (my favorite being "Searching for Star"), the way she uses dialogue and description .

My rating: For fans of short stories, especially those about the local area, this is a must-read.

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