Posts Tagged ‘Deb Caletti’

The Secrets She Keeps

 

Best-selling author Deb Caletti sent us a signed copy of her latest novel, The Secrets She Keeps. The inscription read:

“For Bill and Sandra, Divorce ranch royalty! With gratitude.”

 

The story is set in 1951 on a Nevada divorce ranch. Ms. Caletti, though too young to have lived through the Reno divorce era, shared what it was like doing research for her novel: 

 

 

“I owe a debt of gratitude to Bill and Sandra McGee’s wonderful book The Divorce Seekers, which was an invaluable resource for information about the Nevada divorce ranches. . . . This book is a treasure if only for the photos alone—images of cowboys, the ranch, old Reno, and Moscow mule-sipping socialites in the midst of their six-week cure.

Bringing that time period to life was trickier than I’d anticipated because of exactly what I’d found so thrilling—how little there was out there about the divorce ranches. Luckily, I discovered The Divorce Seekers, a stunning coffee table volume of photos and memories by Bill McGee, a former dude wrangler at the famed Flying M. E. 

The images—with their smoky, black-and-white, retro allure—are what brought the time and place alive for me so that I could bring them [my characters] to life in the novel. Not only was the book an invaluable resource for information on day-to-day life on a divorce ranch, it also set the mood. I’d open the book to an image of two sleepy roommates in the middle of their Reno cure, wearing silky chemises, drinks in hand, or to a photo of one of the gals in her party-night finery, and I’d be just where I needed to be.”

A decade has passed since The Divorce Seekers: A Photo Memoir of a Nevada Dude Wrangler was published in 2004, but the Reno divorce era and that unique Nevada institution — the divorce ranch — still continue to fascinate.