Battleborn by Claire Vaye Watkins is a gritty portrayal of life in the American West through a series of ten short stories, all set in and about Nevada, in what is her literary debut. Through this common thread, each story takes readers into the time, which goes back to the gold rush and through to the present. Watkins has crafted an impressive collection of stories, which illustrate to the reader the challenges, triumphs, and losses experienced by those in the west at various points throughout time. Battleborn is not a feel good read, but rather it is an honest, realistic look at the experience of living out west from multiple time perspectives. Watkins does an excellent job in making each story as unique as its predecessor, avoiding the tendency to make a mold or template and simply repeat the motif ten-fold. I found each subsequent story to be all the more engaging because of this and can easily recommend Battleborn to fans of historical fiction as well as short stories.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of Battleborn through LibraryThing Early Reviewer programme, for review.