KTTU "In Focus," 12/6/09, 10:30 AMPosted: Updated:
Host Bob Lee interviews Dianne Ebertt Beeaff , author, Power's Garden, Beeaff’s first novel.
Beeaff says it tells the tale of two southeastern Arizona families-one Texan, the other Mormon-whose lives dramatically collide in the midst of World War I. She says their story of heartbreak and triumph is woven around the infamous 1918 "Power's Garden" shootout, a controversial altercation between a Mormon band of sheriff's deputies and a group of Texas ranchers that left four men dead. She says the event sparked the most intensive manhunt in Arizona history.
Beeaff says not long after she moved to Arizona from Canada in the late 1960s, she heard about the historical shootout in Power's Garden and did some preliminary research. She says the events occur as World War I rages in Europe and a crippling drought engulfs the Gila Valley desert, taking with it the hope of the area's ranchers as their livestock wastes away.
She says what really intrigued her about it was the clash of cultures, primarily based on religious intolerance; how people see and interpret the same event from their own perspective. She says the story focuses on a "Texan gentile" who becomes employed by a devout Mormon family to make ends meet during trying economic times. She says long-kept secrets unfold with unforeseen consequences as the Brennick and Beecham families develop an embattled but gripping relationship, navigating uncertainties, challenging traditions and ultimately learning to love.
Beeaff says she hopes readers from all walks of life will gain a clearer understanding of their own cultural and religious perspectives, realizing that any event has as many possible interpretations as the number of people who witness or experience it.