Hannah is a fifteen-year-old Amish girl who lives on her family’s farm in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. When her family, hit hard by the Great Depression, loses their farm, Hannah’s father decides it’s time for a fresh start. Destitute but inspired by grand plans and dreams of a better future west of Lancaster, he loads his family and what little they have left into their covered wagon. They settle in North Dakota, hundreds of miles from any Amish community. But things aren’t going quite as Hannah’s father had imagined—his visions of success are shattered by the reality that his knowledge of farming in Lancaster isn’t of much use in Midwestern soil. With the fields barren and her family on the verge of starvation, independent and stubborn Hannah is forced to seek help from charismatic ranch hand Clay Jenkins and his family. Clay is drawn to the independent, strong-willed newcomer who is unlike any girl he’s ever known. Hannah grapples with her own feelings for Clay, an English boy. Her life is more uncertain than ever. With Hannah’s help, will her family get back on their feet and prosper in North Dakota? And what will happen with Clay Jenkins?
Byler's latest Amish historical (after Hester Takes Charge), the first in her new Dakota series, is heavy on the Amish and very light on the romance. After the Detweiler farm in Lancaster County, Pa., fails during the Great Depression, Hannah Detweiler and her family head for a homestead in North Dakota, where they expect to find rich farmland. The family's faith is sorely tested when they're met with harsh blizzards and a climate ill suited for growing corn. At first, the Detweilers survive due to the kindness of strangers, including the Jenkins family, who have a nearby ranch. But when Hannah's father begins to lose his grip on reality, Hannah realizes that her family will starve unless she gets a job. Her hard work at Harry Rocher's Hardware and Mercantile doesn't leave her much time to think about her burgeoning crush on charming rancher Clay Jenkins, and when tragedy strikes, it may separate the two forever. Byler is Amish, and the authenticity of her narrative shines on every page, as do her impeccable research and skillful plotting. This tale will captivate readers looking for clean Christian women's fiction with a dollop of romance.