I’m sitting at home doing not much, but I think I may have cost Fox Chapel Publishing a lot of money.
I was sent one of their books, “Cloud’s Legacy” by Ginger Kathrens, to review. Initially, I wasn’t too enthusiastic…must be a kids’ book, I thought. Turns out, it is a book for all ages and I quite enjoyed it. The author follows several groups of wild horses through the seasons and years in Montana. She chronicles grazing, mating, birthing, battling and unexpected troubles. I, frankly, couldn’t put the book down. For writer and photographer Kathrens, wild horses are an obvious passion of hers. The book explains Kathrens has made documentaries about the horses, has founded The Cloud Foundation, fighting for the rights of wild hoses and burros, and has written other “Cloud” books.
So I read along and quite enjoyed the wonderful pictures that accompanied the very descriptive text. This would be the book I would review the next Sunday, I said. We have lots of wild horses in Nevada, too, so the book is appropriate for Living-Las-Vegas.com.
And then…I got to the last page of the book and the last line of the book and….the last sentence didn’t end. The book simply ended with: “I sensed that greatness was just around the corner for the stallion I had followed, worried over, and admired from the time…”
That was it. I checked to see if two pages were stuck together. Nope. The next page was the Epilogue.
I sent a phone message and email to the PR lady who sent me the book (she was out of the office, but got the message) and she said she had talked to the editor and would get back to me as soon as she knew something. Did I discover something the editor was not aware of, causing a new round of printing? Or was the last line just a ploy of the publisher to find out which reviewer actually read the whole book!
But then more confusion. I went to Amazon to get the price of the book and found a different cover for “Cloud’s Legacy” than the book I was sent. Further, with more Googling, I then saw that the title had earlier versions, starting as early as 2004! The book apparently originally was a companion to an award-winning PBS Nature series, a series I had not seen. The publisher who created the first edition as a companion book to the PBS Nature TV show went out of business. And so this is a revised edition. The book I was given had a January 2020 publication date. As it turns out, this book is not available for purchase on Amazon.com. Sales are direct with the publisher here. The cost of the book is $19.99.
So Sunday’s here; I’m on a deadline and haven’t heard from the PR Lady. Having no other story subject to substitute, I will just say that whatever version of “Cloud’s Legacy” you may come across, old or new, with or without a last line, I think you will enjoy the contents. You’ll love the photos of magnificent wild animals. The author’s written descriptions of nature in the wild fills the mind’s eye, something that is particularly appreciated now. I would much rather be spending time in the Arrowhead Mountains of Wyoming than in a shutdown family room in Las Vegas.
Here is just one of the many intriging paragraphs in the book:
“The colt appeared to stare at the mule deer does. You should have a name, I said to myself. Beneath my feet were bits of red, brown and gray rock. The Arrowheads were named for the rocks so abundant here, hard rocks from which the Crow Indians fashioned their arrow and spear points. Flint, I decided. I’ll call him Flint. At the time I had no idea that Flint would one day need every bit of the toughness his name implied.”
That toughness would ultimately……. (I can leave you guessing, too, just like the publisher of this new book.)
The Monday after this article was published, the PR lady got back to me, noting that the publisher had not been aware of the mistake; would issue an explanation of the mistake to accompany any current copies of the book and would correct the last page on the next revision. She also sent me the “real” last paragraph of the book, and here it is:
“A gust of wind lifted Cloud’s forelock off his chiseled head. His white mane and tail floated on the breeze. He glanced back at his family and then turned and stared out over his wilderness kingdom. I sensed that greatness was just around the corner for the stallion I had followed, worried over, and admired from the time he was a tottering newborn. As if he could read my mind, Cloud arched his neck and lifted his head into the wind, looking for all the world like the King of the Mountain. Under the warm sun, Flint lay down and Storm lay next to him, their bodies gently touching.”