In 1872, thirteen-year-old Will Curtis isn't prepared for the changes that are about to occur in his young life. His mother died six months ago while giving birth to his youngest sister, Anne. Will is not pleased when his Pa, a cantankerous self-ordained minister, introduces him to his new stepmother, eighteen-year-old Mary. Will initially resents the pretty young woman, but he is eventually overcome by her charm.
Soon after Mary's arrival, the family is guided by Will's forty-year-old uncle, Zeke, as they leave their West Virginia home to forge a new life on the Kansas frontier. Will is saddened when he has to leave his best friend, Skeeter, and his dog, Crusher, behind. The long journey by steamboat, train, and wagon is not an easy one, but their struggles are only the beginning. While besieged with natural disasters, family conflict, outlaws, and death, the Curtis family also becomes involved in a deadly vendetta.
This coming-of-age Western demonstrates Will's determination and dedication to his family as he matures on the hardscrabble Kansas homestead. In his five-year journey, Will reaps the rewards of hard work, faces his foes, and discovers the wonder of love in Into the Heartland.
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February 24, 2009
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