Terrace Books, a trade imprint of The University of Wisconsin Press
Fiction / Wisconsin / Rural Studies / Agriculture
Blue Shadows Farm
“Jerry Apps unravels a family secret that arcs across three generations and delivers a surprising answer for one descendant.”
—Philip Hasheider, contributing author to Seasons on the Farm
Fans of Jerry Apps will delight in his latest novel, Blue Shadows Farm, which follows the intriguing family story of three generations on a Wisconsin farm.
Silas Starkweather, a Civil War veteran, is drawn to Wisconsin and homesteads 160 acres in Ames County, where he is known as the mysterious farmer forever digging holes. After years of hardship and toil, however, Silas develops a commitment to farming his land and respect for his new community. When Silas’s son Abe inherits Blue Shadows Farm he chooses to keep the land out of reluctant necessity, distilling and distributing “purified corn water” throughout Prohibition and the Great Depression in order to stay solvent. Abe’s daughter, Emma, willingly takes over the farm after her mother’s death. Emma’s love for this place inspires her to open the farm to school- children and families who share her respect for it. As she considers selling the land, Emma is confronted with a difficult question—who, through thick and thin, will care for Blue Shadows Farm as her family has done for over a century? In the midst of a controversy that disrupts the entire community, Emma looks into her family’s past to help her make crucial decisions about the future of its land.
Through the story of the Starkweather family’s changing fortunes, and each generation’s very different relationship with the farm and the land, Blue Shadows Farm is in some ways the narrative of all farmers and the increasingly difficult challenges they face as committed stewards of the land.
Jerry Apps was born and raised on a Wisconsin farm and is professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He is the author of over thirty-five books on Wisconsin & U.S. history, including Every Farm Tells a Story, Country Wisdom, One-Room Country Schools, Cheese, Breweries of Wisconsin, Old Farm, and Ringlingville USA. He is also author of the novels Cranberry Red, In a Pickle and The Travels of Increase Joseph. Apps has won numerous awards for his writing, including the 2007 Major Achievement Award from the Council for Wisconsin Writers. He splits his time between his home in Madison and his farm, Roshara, near Wild Rose, Wisconsin.
A trade imprint of the University of Wisconsin Press
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LC: 2009007121 PS
390 pp. 6 x 9
Cloth $26.95 t
e-book $9.99 t
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“Jerry Apps weaves a good tale through three generations of family life, strife, and the fabric of the rural landscape that holds them together.”—David L. Sperling, editor, Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine
• For more about Jerry Apps and his work, please visit his website at www.jerryapps.com
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Updated March 21, 2012© 2012, The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System