“A wonderful story of love under terrible circumstances. The book is set in Minnesota in 1854, when the state was new and Swedish people came in droves to settle there. The beauty of the state mesmerized Karl Lindstrom; he'd lived there two years and had built a sod house, then decided it was time to marry and start a family. His ad in a Boston newspaper took the notice of a 13-year old boy, James Reardon. He and his sister were trying to find a way to escape their lives in Boston; Anna (his sister) felt this was their answer. Her letters to the man who'd placed the ad said that she could cook, keep a house, help on the farm; that she was Irish and had whiskey-colored hair and blue eyes. The last three things were the only things that Karl found to be true when they arrived. He didn't even know there was a younger brother involved! He also had no idea that Anna had a terrible secret. But he pleasantly put up with it all, taught both Anna and James whatever he felt they had to know, put up with awful meals and all kinds of misery as they learned. They'd been married the day after Anna and James arrived, but having the boy there put a damper on Karl's plans for him and Anna, as they had little or no privacy.
A special closeness developed between the newlyweds, and soon they found a way to be alone - but it wasn't long before Karl began to put two and two together and realized something was wrong. Anna's secret changed everything - and for quite a while, even when new neighbors moved to the territory - nothing was right between them. But the wisdom of the woman Anna feared would take Karl away actually made things come out right. ”