Originally from the east and well educated, Gustie Roemer, has now settled in Charity, South Dakota. Gustie is still considered by the town folk to be an outsider in spite of becoming the local school teacher.
Gustie and local woman, Lena Kaiser, a sodbusters daughter, strike up an unlikely friendship. Soon Lena is sharing problems with Gustie, she wouldn’t dream of telling anyone else. It’s good for Lena to have someone to confide in, as her husband Will is a drunkard and although not violent, his antics do give Lena cause for concern.
Gustie also strikes up a deep friendship with two women on the nearby Sioux Reservation. The old medicine woman, Dorcas Many Roads, who lives out at Crows Kill and her adopted granddaughter, Jordis. Jordis is known as a two spirit woman, which basically means she has the spirit of both man and woman in her. Jordis has had a white mans education and still bears the deep scars, which has made her somewhat bitter and defensive.
The quiet life on the prairie isn’t quiet for long. Lena’s husband Will gets arrested for murdering his father. Gustie’s past catches up with her and her deep dark secrets are revealed. Lena, Gustie and Jordis form a bond and stand together as true friends do. This doesn’t sit too well with the small minded white folks of Charity.
Deep, horrendous secrets within the small town that have remained buried for years are gradually exposed. Present day tragedies interweave throughout everyday lives. But, true friendship, love and strength prevail through their tough prairie lives.
I love a good western. This one is a blockbuster. I know this is a revamped, republished book, but I missed it the first time round. I’m so pleased it has seen the light of day again and with a sequel, Fervent Charity, no less. One which I can’t wait to read now.
This book is well written and from the scenic descriptions, I lost myself totally out on the prairie. All these characters, without exception, are fully developed and multidimensional. They all play well together. Even the baddies are great to read about.
The story is emotional, stormy, dark and turbulent, with many twists and turns throughout. If you are looking for a great book set in the old wild west where cowboys and Indians interact together, look no further. This should hit the spot. A definite re-read for me.