A sturdy readable novel of the opening of the prairies to settlers (Iowa in the 1830's) as Michael and John's timorous Delia settle in isolated territory and build up a community. Michael is the leader, a man of strength and deep convictions. He marries Nancy, whom he meets in early days there; they form an admirable partnership in the guidance of the growing settlement, as Michael handles the uneasy relations with the Indians and robbed by other whites, and Nancy acts as doctor and nurse in the homes around. Other settler problems enter the picture, -- Delia's fears and pregnancies, the severe burns of her younger child, Joel, the minister's son who marries a halfbreed and incure the resentment of his spinster sister, etc. And at the close, Michael and Nancy realise their greatest hope in the birth of a son. Adequate.