Told from the point of view of a teenage boy, an unusual stranger with a past and unique skills comes into a valley and gets involved with a rancher family which is threatened by a powerful enemy. Initially, the local ranchers try to band together but, because they are weak and scared, they sell out or are picked off by the big bully. Does the plot sound familar? Here's a hint: "He rode into our valley in the summer of 89...I was a kid then...I was fascinated...the kind of magnificence I noticed had emerged...It was in the very air of him...'My name is Starrett,' said father...The stranger nodded again. 'Call me Shane,'...." Spoon (2009) is a superb, page turning plot update of the 1946 western classic, Shane. It is 1991 Montana and T. J. Darley, just out of high school, picks up a drifter named "Spoon". T.J. hasn't yet decided to go off to college or stay and work the cattle ranch with his mother and father. Spoon is hired as a ranch hand but becomes much more. The Acota Energy Corporation wants to lease and exploit the substantial coal reserves on the Darley and surrounding ranches. Acosta is used to getting its way by any means necessary. The local law seems unenthusiastic to protect and serve. During this coming-of-age year, T.J. observes, learns, acts and reacts . Events and Spoon influence him in making a crucial, life changing decision.
This "SPUR Award" finalist shows how the "western" has matured and expanded beyond Louis L' Amour. Whether the setting is today or 1889, family, greed, loyalty, principles, corruption, courage, and love of the land are never outdated or irrelevant. That is why The Westerns will always be written and read.
Recommended by Robert L. Hicks, Librarian.