My daughter gave this book to me for my birthday in February. I just finished reading Dream Chasers of the West today and absolutely loved it. It's a true story about a woman named Clara Augusta Miller who ventures out alone to homestead Montana in 1913. Eventually, she finds herself married and settles just south of Glacier National Park. I live an hour from the park, so this story really held my interest because I'm becoming more familiar with the area.
What Clara did is absolutely amazing to me. Not only did she leave her home in Minnesota to homestead the Montana plains, but she dealt with brutal winters, relentless summers, prairie fires, financial hardships, as well as working extremely hard. Our lives are easy compared to what she put up with. What I found really interesting was that Clara was also a writer and storyteller. All throughout her life, she wrote stories and submitted them to publishers. They were always rejected. It wasn't until she was 81 years old that one of her stories was finally published. She received $8 for her story about homesteading in Montana. Yes, at EIGHTY-ONE years old! When I read she was published at that age, it literally brought tears to my eyes.
Even though she didn't write this book, her story is out now. And what an honor it must be to have a life filled with such local history! Since I'm so close to the park, I'm planning on taking a trip over to the east side this summer. I know we've driven by the areas Clara lived and worked in. I'd like to check out the remaining bunkhouse near Lake Lubec as well as see the store and home she lived in at East Glacier. I believe she is buried nearby too, so I'd love to see her gravesite. She died in 1965 -- the same year I was born. Anyway, if you liked Little House on the Prairie as a kid, you will definitely enjoy this book.