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However, her pride and joy are her four children and five grandchildren. She resides in southeast Colorado, which strongly influenced the locale of this book.




DEDICATION



For all those farmers, who have fought the good fight against wind, dirt, tornadoes, infestation, and financial loss; to those who have struggled against giant corporations taking over the family farm, and ever-changing political and economic tides; and to those whose hardy spirits, like those of their forefathers, endure.




PROLOGUE



The March winds cut across the prairie, nipping at the exposed limbs of the people huddled around the open grave.

Margaret Frazier shivered. She clasped her black handbag to her waist, her fingers toying with the silver buckle, twisting it back and forth, back and forth, frayed nerves guiding her subconscious movements. Instinctively, she stepped closer to her son. Brian was all she had now; they would have to support each other in the days ahead. Her eyes studied him, sweeping over the rigid jaw, the scowl across his forehead—so like his father. Today, the wind teased his muddy brown hair, sending it stiffly backwards, giving him a surprised look.

She shifted her attention to the woman at his side, to Brenda. Her daughter-in-law leaned solidly against Brian, a vacant stare clouding her already pale features. Willow thin, her golden hair was drawn tightly into a clasp at the nape of her neck. Her hands rested on Sean’s shoulders, while the three-year-old studied the ground, shuffling his feet. He was so quiet; Margaret had never seen her grandson so quiet.

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