Lin McLean is a series of intertwined short stories that builds to a really nice finish.
Lin is introduced as a free-spirited cow-boy who is moved by a sermon on the Prodigal Son returns home only to discover that he is not wanted (by his brother) but realizes that at least in his case this is no longer home for him. Being on the open range has profoundly changed him and as Owen Wister describes in the context of a death and subsequent funeral at miserable place called Dry Bone what is really means to live in the west and gives us insight into the how and why Lin McLean had been so molded by his experiences in Wyoming.
Interestingly the story also traces Lin moving from being basically a boy into a man with a conscience. As a boy he marries impetuously and later as a man learns the true meaning of love:
Even though there were moments of joy and these sometimes so deep