Winner of the Milkweek National Fiction Prize, in this collection of linked short stories, Laura Pritchett balances gritty material with genuine warmth and understanding of character. Hell’s Bottom is more than a ranch. Home to Renny, one of those women who prefers a little Hell swirled with their Heaven,” and her husband, Ben, who’s gotten used to smoothing over Renny’s excesses,” the ranch has been the site of births and deaths of both cattle and children, as well as moments of amazing harmony and clear vision. A day of haying turns violent in A New Name Each Day,” while in Rattlesnake Fire,” Ben and his estranged sister must decide whether to put aside their differences to save families trapped by a forest fire. In Pritchett’s masterful hands, the western landscape becomes a zone of familial crisis and, sometimes, transcendence.