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From Barnes & NobleThe American frontier has been a source of great fiction for decades, and it reappears in all its harsh and unforgiving grandeur in Weisgarber's unforgettable historical novel, The Personal History of Rachel DuPree. Rachel Reeves is a Negro cook working in a boardinghouse in early 20th-century Chicago when she meets Isaac DuPree, her employer's son. Isaac is there for a short visit before leaving for the South Dakota Badlands, where he plans to take advantage of the Homestead Act and secure some acreage for himself. Rachel is bowled over by this ambitious man, and sees a life with him as a way to escape her own dim prospects. Although Isaac's mother has another girl in mind for him, Rachel is clever and bold enough to foil Mrs. DuPree's plan.
The Badlands, however, prove a difficult place to forge a home. While Rachel grows to love Isaac deeply and they build a family together, some disturbing revelations about his character come to light. And when a severe drought strains their financial security, Rachel must wrestle anew with life-changing decisions that will now affect her children as well.
In this wonderfully engaging first novel, Weisbarger has crafted a historical page-turner, complete with an indomitable protagonist, a setting worthy of Laura Ingalls Wilder and Willa Cather, and a theme both universal and timeless.
— Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple