THE BONES OF PLENTY by Lois Phillips Hudson


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A perhaps severe first novel is true to life and the hard facts of the farmer's losing fight to make a living out of the Dakota prairie country during the depression years. It also commemorates the death of the American dream, particularly for George Custer who for ten years had tried, as a tenant farmer, to earn enough to buy his own land, build his own house, and- in his stubborn, bitter independence- avoid the help of his father-in-law, Will Shepard nearby. During the time here, a little more than a year, which begins with the run on the banks and ends as an auctioneer brings his gavel down on the Custers' belongings, the whole history of a dying agricultural economy is filled in-the wheat which disappeared in ""smut, rust, drought, grasshopper gizzards, middlemen's pockets"", the end of a system of free enterprise in cut backs and price fixing. The personal lives of George and Rachel Custer, of old Will Shepard whose cancer also eats away what little he has put by, supplement an honest, often moving documentary, which in a sense is as unyielding as the harsh existence it reflects with sympathy and integrity.

Pub Date: July 25th, 1962
Publisher: Little, Brown-A.M.P.