I received a free copy of The Personal History of Rachel DuPree for my honest review.
About the Book:
About the Author:
In this tale of a woman who basically sells herself into her marriage for 160 acres of unforgiving land in the South Dakota Badlands the reader sees the strength of the American homesteader.
Rachel Reeves was working in the kitchen of Mrs. DuPree’s boarding house when Isaac DuPree comes home in his Army uniform. Rachel falls in love but Isaac has one thing on his mind; homesteading in the Badlands where he can stake his claim to 160 acres of land. To him land is everything. Rachel reminds him that as a single woman she too can claim 160 acres. She give him her claim if he agrees to marry her. They do marry and off they head to South Dakota.
In spite of Isaac offering her an out after one year of marriage they stay together forging a relationship, building a house and buying other ranches. They are never quite accepted by the others in town due to their color but they cannot be ignored because of the size of their holding.
All is going well until drought strikes and suddenly everything they have built together starts to implode. Rachel realizes that Isaac is not what she thought he was. Nor is she.
I read this book in one sitting. I couldn’t put it down. It’s powerful, it’s compelling and it’s hard to read. Not because of the writing; the writing is beautiful in a harsh, Badlands way but because of the topics. (They are startlingly beautiful but unbelievably harsh country. I loved visiting.) Rachel is a woman who knew what she wanted, went after it but got more than she bargained for. She got her man but he never cared for anything but the land. Everything he did was for that accursed land. What she wanted didn’t count. Another woman who thought she would change a man….
The characters are well drawn and utterly fascinating. Isaac is a man who knows what he wants and will let nothing stand in his way. Rachel is a woman of strength, courage and love. Like every mother she wants more for her children than she had. When she realizes that life on the ranch is depriving them of many of the sweeter aspects of life she makes a hard decision that will effect all of their lives. I so wanted this book to continue. I felt as if I were immersed in the time period and in the world. Ms. Weisbarber’s writing had the power to do that. You won’t be disappointed in reading this book.
Also by Ann Weisgarber:
You can read my review of The Promise
You can purchase The Promise on Amazon.com