Deanna focuses on realistic portrayals of everyday and extraordinary difficulties. Also realistic is the hope and optimism the characters muster. The author's skill as a poet is evident in her prose, with many a well-turned phrase and vivid language. The stories are like a visual artist's interpretation-rich with detail, but spurring the reader's imagination to contribute to the picture.
Rough Patches by Deanna McCall had me smiling when one character ended up covered in manure and came out laughing. A real book about ranching! There are books about ranching and books written by people who wish they were ranchers. The first are gritty, raw, and filled with both wonder and pain; the second tend to be romanticized versions of a mythic West, books which real ranchers see a mile away. Rough Patches by Deanna McCall stands firmly in the first.
The finest of reads, Rough Patches is one of those rare books for all who live the ranching life and those who wish they did. Ranchers will recognize their lives and family within its pages, and those who want to know the ranching life will dip into this life in ways that will bring deeper understandings. I encourage you to make yourself some coffee or tea and sink into the lives and way of life within these pages. Whether you are a rancher or not, the humanity in these pages will make your own rough patches feel a little less lonely.
~~Story Circle Review Dawn Wink -Author
This is no collection of saccharin stories of how your mother always told you that, no matter how bad things were, you’d be a better person for it. Instead, this is a group of vignettes that — even when a bit of humor appears — are about dark times. Those are part of life, too.
~~Andy Wilkinson, songwriter, editor, artist
Terrific book. The stories tugged at your heart. It's the strength of the western woman that rings true throughout each story. They all face up to what they have chosen or were given in life with their faces pointed straight in the wind and deal with life head on.