Coming Home: The Shadows of Sawtooth Ridge by Bernie McAuley

by | Apr 5, 2022 | Featured Article | 0 comments

Humans are part of the world, and the world is within them as people are within an alive and enormous network of beings that look back at each other. To perceive this is at once so simple and also profound. It begins with the most obvious everyday things around you. The most utter thing you can do is to look down, look around, say hello, and then begin to learn what that means.

Book Snippet

The Shadows of Sawtooth Ridge by Bernie McAuley is a riveting family drama that engages the readers from its first pages. The plot focuses on the main character, Larry, a Vietnam War prisoner of war (POW), coming home to their family ranch in Montana. However, things never stay the same, as he finds out when he returns. Now he is a single dad of two children, Mark and Jonnie. Their family ranch, where he was raised years ago, is now about to be sold. Also, he may lose his career as an airline pilot because of his recurring nightmares. Then Dakota, a rodeo member-turned reporter from his past, re-enters his life. Everyone wanted her but him in the early days: he had other things on his mind besides barrel racing. At present, could there be a chance for the two of them?

A Great Book Review

The significance of family relations is paramount in one’s heart and mind. It is, of course, about the experience one can get out of living and communicating with family members. This book about the family’s ranch life primes in a strong place. A POW (Larry) comes home, relating some of his memories and feelings of being a prisoner. But his homecoming is not as great as he had hoped. The bad news of his wife’s death awaits him, and he is sucked deeper into sadness. The author nicely relays the everyday happenings of ordinary people and the extraordinary challenges they face. The characters are exciting and realistic, and the plot is intriguing. Even though the book has some challenging parts, it is not all doom and gloom. You will meet fascinating characters like Bing, and you will come to respect that the main character does not consider being a POW heroic. You also get a flavor of the times he describes: humankind walking on the moon, race riots, gas shortages, and Watergate. And the descriptions of Larry getting help for his post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are compassionate and informative. The accompanying images are a bonus, and one of my favorite parts is when Larry plays the piano again. The Shadows of Sawtooth Ridge by Bernie McAuley is an engaging story that fans of Hallmark movies will enjoy, and you would certainly recommend it.

Author’s Corner

Bernie McAuley spent summers on his grandfather’s 14,000-acre ranch in Eastern Montana. Before entering the Army, Bernie used to work in Glacier National Park. Shortly after being discharged from the Army, Bernie began his airline career in Minneapolis with Northwest Airlines. He returned to Montana with the airline, where, in his spare time, he could be found hunting, fly fishing, and team roping either on the Missouri River or along with the shadows of the sawtooth. He also spent time packing into the Bob Marshall Wilderness. Transferring to Seattle, he assumed a position in operations, where he became familiar with flight crews and working MAC (Military Air Charter) flights arriving from and departing from Vietnam. He retired from the airlines after 38 years. He began working for the Griffin School District near Olympia, Washington, three months later. He now lives with his wife of forty-two years, overlooking the Puget Sound in Lacey, Washington.


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