It’s the early 1900s in Montana. Paul’s mother has died, and his father has answered an advertisement in the newspaper about a housekeeper. Enter Rose Llewellyn – and her brother Morrie, who tagged along. Morrie ends up taking over the position of teacher for the one-room schoolhouse, where his talents as an unconventional know-it-all can shine.
Throughout the book, you come to love every single character, especially Paul’s youngest brother, Toby. What an adorable seven-year-old. Paul’s family has such a bond. Dryland farming in Montana doesn’t sound like much fun, but I would still put up with it to be part of Paul’s family, including Rose and Morrie. Ivan Doig paints a picture of a time when life was simpler and friends and family mattered more than anything. Doig’s writing, all around, is superb.
This is a truly touching book. The start may be a bit slow, but stick with it. If you do, these characters will stick with you for a very long time.