A rather long piece of period fiction illustrates the development of the Dakota farmlands at the turn of the century as it details the lives of young Dan Osborne, his family, and the people they meet as they come to farm in the land beyond Minneapolis in 1900. Two strikes against them at the start are the disabling stroke Mr. Osborne suffers during the trip west and the mysterious runaway behaviour of Dan's older brother Slim. With the responsibility of starting a farm on his shoulders, Dan pitches in, and with his mother's help gets things under way. But there are further obstructions. Ike Sheets, operating crookedly on the periphery of the ""Interests"" who one much of the land, threatens the Osbornes' land. Slim, found working in a nearby town, seems unconcerned by his family's plight. Then another neighbor who turns out to be Ike's brother helps square things away all around bringing to the Osbornes a new unity among themselves as well as with the community. Written in a studied vernacular which may please where it doesn't bore.