|Chaff in the Wind
Again it was April, and the Spring of 1887. The Kansas winter had
been quiet, and only two raging blizzards had stormed across the
west. For that, Ingrid Halgren was glad.
She had been afraid of that piercing, demanding cold, the sifting
snow that would not be kept out. It came through the cracks of doors
and windows. It whipped and swirled in deep, enclosing drifts—drifts
that were formed by the force of relentless, powerful icy blasts
that would not be stilled until their fury was spent.
Ingrid had not yet learned that the blizzards were the salvation
of the dry lands, that fewer snows meant dry, packed soil under
the top soil; that few snows usually meant a short rainy season.
This spring the rainy season lasted only a week, bringing two fitful
apologetic days of rain and three or four days of threatening fot
and mist. The bright sunlight after the rain was welcome and warm,
but it came too soon. The wheat in llate May was knee high, promising
Ingrid and John walked through their field one Sunday afternoon,
loving the swish of the wheat with their steps, still hopeful that
the heavens would open in mercy and save their wheat.
About Chaff in the Wind
(Quoted from the book jacket, Chaff in the Wind, 1977 paperback edition)
CHAFF IN THE WIND, a family story of the Kansas wheat
land, covers the whole spectrum of human emotions; it portrays life
as it was near the close of the nineteenth century and beginning
the twentieth. The book is historically accurate, making it a valuable
resource for Americana units in the school curriculum. Although
told simply enough for junior high readers, it is also exciting
fare for adult lovers of adventure novels.
Lillian E. Blevins, Media Specialist
Will Rogers School, San Juan
United School District
CHAFF IN THE WIND, a story of Swedish emigrants in Kansas,
is a moving account of courage, struggle, despair, rejection and
love--love for each other, for the land and for the wheat. It will
be a most welcome addition to the pioneer genre.
Helen Haney White
Library Media Specialist
Wichita Public Schools
EDNA WALKER CHANDLER'S historical perspective is excellent and
the family is placed in proper context when outside events affect
life in southwestern Kansas. The Halgrens come through as real people,
and the realism comes across to the reader in a penetrating but
never unpleasant way. This is a good book which should appeal to
any Westerner interested in how this region developed.
Robert W. Richmond
Kansas State Historical Society
Author of KANSAS: A LAND OF CONTRASTS
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