By Rosanne Bittner
Forge Book 2004
There have been many stories written about the western migration of families in the nineteenth century. Most seem to focus on those going to the Great Plains and on beyond. This author chose a shorter journey, one that reached no further than the plains of Indiana, but one that was no less dangerous or challenging for those who followed their dreams of a new start.
The hardships are authentic, with the unworkable soil, the lack of trees for lumber—or shade—and the unknown problems between the natives and the white settlers who encroached on the lands. Yes, the information given to these new immigrants was either—or both—incomplete and incorrect.
The heart of the tale is that of the Shawnee and Pottawatomie Indians, their struggle to keep their land and their brutality in that attempt. The unaware immigrants are thrown into the midst of the problem. Some emerge to follow their dream once again; many others do not.
The glimpse into the lifestyle of both immigrants and natives forms an interesting study in itself, but the reader does not know how it will turn out until the story is ending. In other words, it is a “page turner.” Though a simply written tale, any Western literature lover would appreciate this book.