At age seventeen, Helen Pendleton considered herself to be a modern woman, eager to embrace the new century. While the normal path for a female in her New York town was matrimony and children, she shocked her parents by planning to attend college and hoping to eventually become a schoolteacher. So when her neighbor, Albert, surprised her by proposing marriage, she was smugly confident in her decision to decline his offer.
Yet time and adversity changed everything.
Three years later, with her parents deceased, and college a fading memory, she’s in dire straits. Her father’s business is bankrupt, and she’s losing her home. She is desperate, and as she reaches her lowest ebb, she receives a letter from Albert.
After she spurned him, he and his family moved west, pursuing their dream of homesteading in the Dakotas. When he hears of her dilemma, he offers marriage again, tempting her with tales of his prosperous ranch and the fine house he’s built for her out on the prairie.
With Helen out of ideas or options, she accepts his proposal, abandoning her prior certainty that she can be free and independent. But Albert has lied to her about his life on the Great Plains. He has no aptitude for ranching, and his family’s homestead is a bleak, barren place where wind, weather, and isolation guarantee that their survival is always in question.
Helen arrives in the Dakotas, seeking the security Albert has promised. But she is unprepared for the grueling reality that awaits. Trapped in a downward spiral of work and worry, and wed to a man she could never love, she must find the inner strength to endure the hand that fate has dealt her.
Bestselling novelist, Cheryl Holt, paints a world of triumph and tragedy, of joy and sorrow, where people are tested to their limits and the best and worst of humanity is revealed. Mud Creek is a tremendous, accessible, and heartrending book that whirls to a gripping climax, featuring Ms. Holt’s most memorable characters in years.