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Maud's Line

Maud’s Line is set in 1928, a year after the worst flood in American memory and a year before the stock market crash and the start of the Great Depression. The heroine, Maud Nail, lives at the end of a lane at the end of a section line on Indian allotment land. She shares her home with her father, Mustard, who can’t stay out of a fight, and her brother, Lovely, who is sensitive and in love. Maud’s prospects, both for love and for living with electricity and in-door plumbing, are limited until a bright blue canvas-covered peddler’s wagon rolls down her section line and stops in her lane. The wagon, driven by Booker Wakefield, a teacher looking for adventure on summer break, is loaded with trinkets, necessities, and books. Maud, who is a reader, is taken both with the peddler and his merchandise. But Maud’s world is filled with violence and Booker’s life has been sheltered. The events of the book cause friction between them, and Maud has to take comfort where she can find it and call on her wits and reserves of strength to survive.