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Nineteen-year-old Aldine McKenna is stuck at home with her sister and aunt in a Scottish village in 1929 when two Mormon missionaries ring the doorbell. Aldine's sister converts and moves to America to marry, and Aldine follows, hoping to find the life she's meant to lead and the person she's meant to love.

In New York, Aldine answers an ad soliciting a teacher for a one-room schoolhouse in a place she can't possibly imagine: drought-stricken Kansas. She arrives as farms on the Great Plains have begun to fail and schools are going bankrupt, unable to pay or house new teachers. With no money and too much pride to turn back, she lives uneasily with the family of Ansel Price - the charming, optimistic man who placed the ad - and his family responds to her with kind curiosity, suspicion, and, most dangerously, love. Just as she's settling into her strange new life, a storm forces unspoken thoughts to the surface that will forever alter the course of their lives.

Laura McNeal's novel is a sweeping and timeless love story about leaving - and finding - home.

About the Author

Laura McNeal

My historical novel for adults, THE PRACTICE HOUSE, gave me a chance to work out, in fictional form, the joys and limitations of home life in the 1930s, an era shaped by the same moral code (and daily tasks) of my adolescence. Writing it reminded me how much I loved crimping the edges of pies, cutting around the pinned edge of a dress pattern, planning a Thanksgiving menu, and tipping rain water out of the bottles my grandmother collected at the dump and used to decorate her yard. The thing my three novels have in common is their faith in the power of commonplace objects and the good intentions of strangers.

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