Little, Brown, Oct 2003, 23.95, 276 pp.
Following a nasty divorce from her Air Force pilot husband, Lenna Swanson accompanied by her fourteen year old son Kenny moves to Idaho. Kenny's only interest lies in the rodeo. However, he acquiesces to his mom's plea to not participate until she completes her probation period at her new job so they can have health insurance to cover any injuries. Kenny's loneliness intensifies when his father dies in a plane crash.
Lenna begins seeing rodeo star Roddy Moyers. Because he reveres Roddy, Kenny is all for his mother dating his idol. Roddy also spends time with musically talented high school senior Cynthia Dustin, over a decade younger than him. Kenny becomes agitated when he finds a treasure trove of his deceased father's stuff, but Cynthia's friendship helps him cope. Roddy leaves town for the rodeo circuit while Kenny and Cynthia innocently fall asleep together only to have her abusive father discover them lying down together. Now the troubles begin.
This low key small town tale is a deep look at individuals struggling with loneliness and a disbelief in love, but finds some solace with one another. Roddy finds love in fan adulation. Cynthia doubts it exists. Lenna believes that only her son truly cares for her. Finally, though he accepts his mom's love for him, even the adolescent Kenny ponders whether his father loved him and if so why did he remarry? Though the action is minor, fans of modern day contemporary tales will enjoy LOVE AND COUNTRY as Christina Adam provides a strong character study.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner