My friend Shannon recommended this book to me, and so did Mrs. Robinson. It's another one that I'd been meaning to read for a long time but just didn't seem that interesting. Wow, was I wrong. I LOVED this book, and I can totally see why it was a Newbery Honor. the writing is delicious, the imagery top notch, and the characterization extremely strong. I felt for Hattie and rooted for her the whole way.
After reading this novel I know for sure I could never have been a pioneer woman, especially as a teenager. Hattie, however, was made of hearty stock, and she put her best effort into every step required for earning her homestead in Montana. I wonder if her uncle who left it to her in his will knew she was so hearty, didn't realize the incredible effort this was going to require from Hattie, or knew this might be her only chance so gave it to her just in case she could make it.
This book was an extremely accurate portrayal, I think, of the difficulties of homesteading and the way communities pulled together and were pulled apart sometimes, as in the case of the German immigrants in this novel. I really liked the parallels the author drew between what was happening in this novel during World War I and some of the things that have resulted from 9/11 in her additional material after hte end of the story.
I would highly recommend this novel. Available in the WOMS library.