“I sent you to school — to a college — so you can make best use of the good head the Lord gave you. A good head is a gift. Gaining knowledge is a privilege.” Thomas’s father tells him. Thomas has come back to find his father is about to lose the family mill and has settled in town because of hard times. Thomas is caught between his loyalty to his family and a new life in Boston. In Boston he can help a man get elected to office who can change the world. In Kansas he can help his father regain his mill. His Mennonite roots tell him to stay and help his family on the Kansas prairie. But he has fallen in love with Boston where he had spent his college years.
This is a story of choice and dreams. “I would imagine after living in a large city, coming back here must be very dull,” he is told by his girlfriend,
“No, that’s not it” Could he trust her with information about the job offer? Maybe saying the words to Belinda would give him the courage to repeat them to his parents. “I’m just thinking about something that’s waiting for me in Boston, and I’m eager to explore it.”
In Boston he finds a job with a newspaper as an investigative reporter. He finds out things about himself and others that cause him to grow. This seems to be the way with life. A person doesn’t really mature and become complete until he is confronted with independence. In this case it is getting away from the family and from book learning and seeing people as they are that brings about understanding.
Thomas meets the newspaper editor in Chicago who is slanting the news to favor a segregationist for the presidency. It is the year that Teddy Roosevelt is running on the ticket. This story is set in 1904.
In Boston, Thomas meets the editor’s daughter, Daphne, who is spoiled and knows how to get her way. She tends to mold circumstances to her benefit. Her eyes are on capturing Thomas.
He gets a job on the newspaper and immediately he is under pressure to conform. Soon he finds his understanding of life is challenged. If he stays with the paper he must deny his dream of making a difference in the world. But if he becomes his own man, who knows what he can accomplish? He must weigh his job against his integrity and his upbringing. Also there is the question of how best to help his family back in Kansas.
The story is told in multiple story lines. While Thomas is in Boston, life goes on in Kansas.
Author Kim Vogel Sawyer does a good job with the development of characters. You find yourself rooting for Thomas’ success.
Sawyer has written 11 novels. When she is not writing she is involved in drama, quilting and calligraphy. She lives in Kansas with her husband. They have three daughters and six grandkids. She also has a Web site you can visit at www.KimVogelSawyer.com.
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