Henry Tenbrook and Everett Pillars, friends and rivals, find themselves on opposite sides of a barbed wire fence. At stake is the fate of the Griefmaker, a thousand-acre virgin Tall Grass prairie, once owned by Tenbrook’s family, now in Pillars’ hands. Tenbrook wants to preserve the prairie, Pillars wants to develop it. When Pillars plows up the Griefmaker, the stage is set for conflict that leads to crime and violence.
The haunting beauty, brimless skies and austere fields of Kansas are the backdrop for this epic tale of loss, betrayal, self-discovery and redemption. Gurley lays bare a boiling feud that pits conservation versus development, working man against moneyed power and old values against new desires. “The Griefmaker" digs at the edges of our social unrest, turns over new ground in what motivates some people to greed and others to love.