In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, America’s High Plains witnessed a startling onrush of settlers. But these lands are unforgiving, dreams failed, and a great dwindling followed.
A dying land shapes its residents, how they think, how they live, and where they place their faith. But while the High Plains are dry, flat, and mostly treeless, the region is not yet lifeless. Many persist and even thrive.
Peter R. Sandberg meditates on a region and its people, drawing on memories of ordinary yet remarkable individuals striving to flourish in a place that just might not want them. He melds compelling narratives about the people he knew with insights into prairie life and humanity itself, drawing out joy, tragedy, faith, hope, and meaning.
Throughout the book, the author reflects on how his dry, windy, isolated upbringing shaped who he is and how he views people and the world. He draws on his childhood in Northwest Kansas, followed by decades spent across much of the rest of America, to examine life on the High Plains and how it compares with the rest of the country.
Ultimately this book provides a message of perseverance from the heartland for a nation seeking to find its way.