This book was hard for me to categorize. It’s a fictional account of a girl named Maude who really wants a safe home where she can love and be loved. It isn’t a romance. It isn’t a mystery or a suspense novel. It’s simply realistic fiction. Maybe you could call it a coming of age novel…
The Sodbuster Venture begins with the death of Mr. Nelson. He hired Maude to care for him that last part of his consumptive life. The night before his fiance arrives in Kansas he passed on, but before he died he made Maude promise to ask Belle to file on his land and live there for a year.
After the funeral Maude told Belle about the promise. She hoped that Belle would stay and keep her because she doesn’t want to live with her sister. Her sister’s husband looks at her funny and it made thirteen-year-old Maude uncomfortable. Despite pressures to sell Belle decided to stay.
They have to survive a cattle drive over their land, being stuck with a young cowboy with a broken leg, outlaws for neighbors, a horde of hungry grasshoppers, and a mysterious stranger. And always Maude hopes that Belle will keep her and stay after her year is up.
It really is a heart warming story with some very touching moments, and others that are really just funny. Over the course of the year Maude begins to shed her childhood and become a young lady. I think my sister, who likes the Charlotte Mason approach of using living books to teach, would agree that this is a good book for adults and young adults alike.
I don’t remember any swearing, and there aren’t any explicit scenes.