When a story opens with a family lowering one of their younger daughters into a well because they are desperate for water you become invested in the story quickly. That is exactly what happened to me with The Personal History of Rachel DuPree by Ann Weisgarber. This novel takes you to another time and place in history when things were a lot tougher. When not getting rain meant life or death or even worse no food to feed your children. It is heart wrenching and real and an absolutely wonderful novel.
When Rachel first sets eyes on Isaac DuPree she is a cook in his mother’s boarding house. Rachel has always wanted a man with ambition and Isaac is exactly what she wants in a man. However he is not interested in marriage at all. All Isaac is interested in is owning land and it is in this that Rachel succeeds in getting Isaac to marry her. Rachel is able to stake a claim on her own piece of land and that is a huge attraction to Isaac. With this they strike a bargain. Isaac will marry her for her land and after a year she can leave and come home. Isaac never expects her to be able to survive the harsh life of the Badlands of South Dakota.
Isaac underestimates Rachel though. She’s a strong and ambitious woman. She wants a home and family and ultimately that is what she gets. Fourteen years later she has her children and her home. She and Isaac have built a life but it hasn’t been easy. The Badlands are a tough place to survive and prosper. The work is hard and there are very few women. Rachel finds herself lonely a lot of the time.
The drought and her latest pregnancy really steals Rachel’s spirit. She wants more for her children than this life. She wants them to experience friends and dances and most of all love. More and more she realizes that this won’t happen for them in the Badlands and Isaac will never agree to leave. Should she leave and go home to her mother? Will it be the best the best thing for her children? These are the decisions that Rachel has to make as she contemplates what is best for her and her children.
Ann Weisgarber writes of the landscape and harsh realities of the Badlands in such a realistic way that you feel you are there breathing in all that dust. You can feel your mouth dry and gritty because there is no water. Your stomach growls with hunger. You can see the vast openness of the land and feel the loneliness of living out in the middle of nowhere as a homesteader. I would definitely recommend this novel to those who enjoy reading about African American history and those who enjoy reading stories that take you back to the time when homesteaders struggled just to live. This is an excellent novel well worth reading!
I read The Personal History of Rachel DuPree by Ann Weisgarber for her book tour with TLC Book Tours. You can see what others on the tour think of the novel here. Be sure to pop in and visit Ann’s website as well. You can purchase your own copy of The Personal History of Rachel DuPree here in the US and here in Canada.
I have one copy of The Personal History of Rachel DuPree by Ann Weisgarber to share with my readers. To enter…
- For 1 entry leave me a comment entering the giveaway.
- For 2 entries, follow my blog. If you already do, thank you, and please let me know in a comment so that I can pass the extra entry on to you as well.
- For 3 entries, blog or tweet this giveaway and spread the word.
This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only (no PO boxes) and I will draw for the winner on Saturday, November 26/11. Good luck!
My copy of The Personal History of Rachel DupPree by Weisgarber was received for review from TLC Book Tours and the publisher.