A Real-Life Cowboy's Wife Tells All

Artistic portrait of cowboys at work lassoing horses.
Artistic portrait of cowboys at work lassoing horses. Damian Zech

Newsdate: Thursday, September 21, 2023 – 9:30 am
Location: POMFRET, Vermont

At the AHP Equine Media Conference in Texas in September 2021, we had the pleasure of screening the feature documentary Cowboys: A Documentary Portrait, presented by cinematographer and co-director Bud Force. That event led to a conversation, a book deal, and almost two years to the day, the pre-release of a gutsy memoir by a cowboy wife profiled in the film.

Book cover of a contemporary Western love story.

Book cover of a contemporary Western love story.

The author paints a brutally honest picture of loneliness, alcoholism, family love, and redemption in a narrative told from an unsung hero of the American West—the cowboy’s wife.
© 2008 by Louis New window.

NEVER BURN YOUR MOVING BOXES by Western Horseman columnist and humorist Jolyn Young is now available for order exclusively from publisher Trafalgar Square Books (www.HorseandRiderBooks.com) with wide release scheduled for next Tuesday, September 26th.

Trust us when we say you haven’t read this story before…

When a baby-to-be suddenly spins a wild, cowboy romance into a very practical marriage, one decrepit ranch trailer home leads to the next, and Jolyn Young finds her young family desperately seeking stability in what is by definition a transient lifestyle that moves with the seasons. Often hours from the nearest grocery store and half-a-day from the closest hospital, pregnancy, childbirth, and illness require a do-it-yourself mentality.

With days, sometimes weeks on her own as her husband Jim works the farthest reaches of whatever ranchlands they currently call home—and first with one child to care for…and eventually with three—Jolyn fights profound loneliness.

As the cowboy lifestyle pulls them further toward the brink of civilization and Jim’s drinking becomes a liability, losing him jobs and sending them packing, again, to yet another, different, distant cow camp, Jolyn struggles with the knowledge that she is choosing a life of scrubbing filthy mobile home floors and bunkhouse bathrooms in order to keep her family together. It takes leaving it, and Jim, for her to determine whether a world built on risk can coexist with the responsible mother she needs to become.

What they’re saying:

“Peppered with humor and heartache, Young paints a brutally honest picture of loneliness, alcoholism, family love, and redemption. It’s a narrative told from an unsung hero of the American West—the cowboy’s wife.” —Bud Force, Cinematographer and Co-Director of the film Cowboys: A Documentary Portrait 

“Jolyn tells her unique story with humor, heartache and brave transparency…an adventurous journey as unpredictable as roping steers in rocky, sage-infested rangeland.”  —Ross Hecox, former editor-in-chief of Western Horseman Magazine

“A comical and unapologetically real story from a woman who not only has saddled the horse but wrangled the crew too—whether it be tough cowboys or kids. You’ll enjoy Jolyn’s adventures down dusty ranch roads!” —Shannon Rollins, Coauthor of A Taste of Cowboy and Comfort Food the Cowboy Way

“This book is simply irresistible, refreshing and impossible to put down. Jolyn Young, a mother of three, wife of a true cowboy, takes us on a memorable and deeply authentic journey into her remote and beautiful world and boy, is it a ride! The author is armed with a wicked sense of humor, a strong sense of survival and purpose, and a big, bright, strong, and ultra-fresh female Western voice. Don’t miss this book—it is the real-life experience of a cowboy wife, and a refreshing antidote to the glittery and drama-driven world of ‘Yellowstone’.”  —Feli Funke, Creative Producer of the film Cowboys: A Documentary Portrait

“Candidly written from the heart, Jolyn’s book is a contemporary Western love story with moments of doubt, strife, humor, and plot twists and turns…. An entertaining read that will take you far from the blacktop and introduce you to a lifestyle few ever truly get to know.” —Jennifer Denison, freelance writer and photographer, and former senior editor at Western Horseman Magazine

“Through wit, exacting insight, and searing honesty, Jolyn writes about the choices we make in life and their profound consequences…. How love turns into sorrow and back into love again. Jolyn’s is a life most of us will never experience, but it is certainly one to which we can all relate.” —John Langmore, Screenwriter, Producer, and Co-Director of the film Cowboys: A Documentary Portrait

256 pages | Watch Jolyn in the film Cowboys: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiF13TSkvWg | Watch the book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZEwe4rqxgw

Find us on Instagram and Facebook @horseandriderbooks

Press release by Rebecca Didier

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