West, by Southwest
by Joann Klusmeyer
PageTurner Press and Media

"That pulling and tugging within him seemed to say, go west by southwest, to find peace for your soul."

Andrew Erickson has one thing in common with his ancestors: a feeling of wanderlust that stirs him to leave his home and travel west by southwest until he finds the place that speaks to him. He purchases a Conestoga wagon for his long trip. Before leaving, however, he finds a three-year-old girl standing by the Atlantic Ocean. Young Lucinda tells him she is waiting for him because her father said a nice man would come and help her. Andrew is drawn to this intelligent young child, and he decides to take her with him. While on the road, they meet a young woman escaping a terrible situation, and she accompanies the two for safety. They eventually settle on the prairie, where Andrew, a master builder, builds a reputable business and begins a family. Will the penchant for travel and relocation continue with Andrew's descendants?

This multi-generational tale of longing and perseverance also delves into the spiritual with the addition of guardian angels who look after the characters along their journeys. In many ways, it is also the story of the American immigrant journey as Andrew's ancestors migrate farther west in Europe until, finally, his father comes to America. It is an interesting look at a turn-of-the-century family who settles on the prairie. The female characters are strong and self-sufficient. The writing is descriptive, especially concerning the aspects of the trip west and the places along the way. Readers are sure to relate to the close relationships developed as people pick up roots and travel to new adventurous places. This novel is certain to entertain those who enjoy stories of family.

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