Back of the Book


"Littrell bares her well-earned scars without shame, 

showing toughness, humor, and honesty.  She's the real deal."

~William C. Pack

Author of The Bottom of the Sky, 

National Best Book Award Finalist and Pulitzer Nominee  

"The prose and lessons in When the Dust Settled by Tamara Littrell 

are stunningly crisp in their delivery and unassailably authentic. 

Whether you have lived around the ranch life of the 

Northern Rockies and Plains or not, you will smell sage and sweat. 

You'll feel the stiff weave of a lariat in calloused palm; 

remember its burn on young skin. 

Soon you'll  hear the lonesome fullness of a quiet wind

 against our heart and taste the blood of a  horse in your mouth. 

Yet those are but an eddy in the river of sensations 

where Littrell  floats this vagabond, coming-of-age story. 

We  watch Littrell and her sister grow from girls to women 

in the wake of their tough and stoic cowboy father and his adoring 

but subjugated wife, who deeply loved him.
When the Dust Settled is proof that cowboys grow old, 

but their pain is guaran-goddamn-teed to stay fresh. 

It's proof that a man's daughters are still daughters, even when the reins are ripped from his aged hands, and that finally finding the trail is all that matters. Littrell bares her well-earned scars without shame, 

showing them with toughness, humor, and honesty. 

She is a woman and author-in-full. 

But perhaps most of all, Littrell proves a human of extraordinary grace as she examine her life- long oppressor and hero. 

She is our mentor. She is the real deal.

~ William C. Pack 

Author of The Bottom of the Sky

National Best Book Award Finalist and Pulitzer Nominee​ 


 "I so enjoyed When the Dust Settled. I can appreciate the early sadness in

Tamara Littrell's life, and so enjoyed the way that she found humor to  replace it. The duty she felt for her father is hard to explain, but I sure can relate. 

It is a compelling read."

~Buck Brannaman 

BUCK, Winner of the Sundance Film Festival Audience Award, 2011 

Inspiration for The Horse Whisperer and Author of The Faraway Horses.


"In the tradition of Mari Sandoz andOld  Jules, 

Tamara Littrell's portrayal of a family  in the American West 

at Mid-century is as heart-wrenching as it is surprisingly tender."

~ Mary Clearman Blew 

Author of Jackalope Dreams


"Tammi Littrell has written a book that is both heartbreaking and soul searching, humorous and poignant. Before you're done reading it , you'll laugh out loud, crave a stiff shot of whiskey, and wipe away tears that refuse to stop flowing. 

Raw emotion, searing angst, and gut-wrenching drama rise from 

When the Dust Settled  like a Montana sunset on a winter-washed prairie. 

This is a story of a little girl, a tough old cowboy, and the bond that held them together through a life that attempted to tear them  apart."

~ Jane Wells  

Writer, Essayist, and Former Book Critic, Louisville Courier Journal  


"A vignette of a cowboyin' family that is gritty and humorous, 

Tamara has  caught the authenticity of a Western way of life."

~ Stephanie Alton 

Director of the Documentary, Ridin' for the Brand

"This book will go right to your heart. It is so powerfully written,  you won't be able to put it down. Tammi pulls no punches and gives us the gift of insight into her life, and what it really means to grow  up cowboy in the American West."

~ John Douglas Wood 

Author of The Adventures of Blondie Magoo and Puddles Pinkerton