Bo Mason, his wife, Elsa, and their two boys live a transient life of poverty and despair. Drifting from town to town and from state to state, the violent, ruthless Bo seeks out his fortune-in the hotel business, in new farmland, and, eventually, in illegal rum-running through the treacherous back roads of the American Northwest. In this affecting narrative, Wallace Stegner portrays over three decades in the life of the Mason family as they struggle to survive during the lean years of the early twentieth century.
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