By: Dorothy Scarborough (1878-1935)
After her mother's death, Letty is forced to move in with her only relative, cousin Bev. From the start, the naive 18-year-old finds it difficult to adjust to life in the tiny homestead of Bev and his family, and her sheltered upbringing has left her unequipped for the hard life on the Texan prairie.
Bev's wife is superficially friendly, but sees nothing but a rival in Letty, and although the girl quickly makes friends with the neighbors, she suffers from the loneliness and monotony of her daily life. But worst of all is the harsh environment Letty finds at her new home. The vast, drought stricken prairie with nothing but yellowish grass and sand for miles is in stark contrast to the lush greens of Virginia, where the girl grew up.
And then there is the wind, the never ceasing wind who fills with sand every nook and cranny of home, body, and mind. And when the wind begins to howl in a dreaded norther, he demands that gentle Letty pay her dues...
The novel, set near Sweetwater, Texas, around 1880, captures the life on the Western frontier with vivid descriptions. Upon its publication in 1925, the local chambers of commerce were outraged over the novel's realism that showed the life of the poor ranchers in a not too favourable light. Today, the book is seen as a staple of the Western genre.