Can you imagine Clarence Day's father superimposed on Old Jules? If so, you may be able to get a quick view of the old man, as Old McDonald was known to his son. His was a stormy arrogant spirit, assured always of his rightness, and proving it against odds too often for the comfort of his critics. This particular quirk portrayed in this book was his assurance that he could make a prosperous and paying farm out of a ""rock and air"" farm, despite gulleys, poor soil, ramshackle buildings -- and his own lack of funds and experience. What's more he did it -- taking it out of his own hide and out of the hides of his children, his menfolk, his womenfolk. He must have been a difficult person to live with -- but an interesting one to read about. Come to think of it, he had more than a slice of Grandma (in Grandma Calls it Carnal) for he was an ex-circuit rider, with a message to give, and a scorn for the ease of modernity and the new fangled contraptions. The setting is Oklahoma. The period a generation ago. There's a good deal of factual material about farm and land reclamation -- but I'd advise against selling it as a ""how-to-do-book"".