Always on My Mind


WESTERN:  At the height of the hippie movement, Cassie Halliday has just graduated from college. Ready to experience life, she and her friends travel from San Francisco to Boston in a wild painted van. A stop in Wyoming for the night leads to a chance meeting for Cassie, where she meets her first cowboy. 

Big and brusque but with a kindness to him, Cooper is absolutely mesmerized by the weirdly dressed but beautiful girl he sees at the bar.  Soon one night together leads to weeks and then months. Cooper never expresses his feelings or offers Cassie any more, however, so when Cassie is faced with a very unexpected challenge, she must decide whether to stay somewhere she may not be wanted or leave the man she loves.

For readers who enjoy a love story filled with angst and heartbreak, this one will hit the mark! Ms. Downing does a fabulous job of creating life in the early 70s right down to the small objects and music that enveloped that era. The overall story is gripping but also frustrating, especially in the beginning. There were significant plot-holes that leave readers confused when the narrative jumps with little explanation.  The story, as well as the characters, especially Cooper, lack much needed depth. Without understanding the motives behind his actions, he came across as a total jerk. Luckily, some of this did smooth out as the story progressed. The ending, while happy, was extremely abrupt, as well.  After all that heartbreak, readers need time to enjoy the resolution so an epilogue would have helped tremendously.  Still, it is a lovely visit down memory lane that will wrench the heart and leave one breathless!

Ruth Lynn Ritter