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The Bones of Plenty

The Bones of Plenty

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Author Lois Phillips Hudson

Minnesota Historical Society Press (March 15, 1984)

A powerful and absorbing novel about the struggles of a proud North Dakota wheat-farming family during the Great Depression.


The Bones of Plenty is a powerful and absorbing novel about the struggles of a proud North Dakota wheat-farming family during the Great Depression. Hudson eloquently portrays George Custer, a determined and angry man who must battle both the land and the landlord; his hard-working wife Rachel; and their young and vulnerable daughter Lucy. Through their compelling story looms a sense of a whole nation's tragedy.

Author information

Lois Phillips Hudson was born in 1927 in Jamestown, North Dakota, where she spent her early childhood. She is an associate professor emerita at the University of Washington in Seattle and the author of Reapers of the Dust: A Prairie Chronicle.

Reviews and news

Reviews of The Bones of Plenty:

"It is possible . . .that literary historians of the future will decide that The Bones of Plenty was the farm novel of the Great Drought of the 1920s and 1930s and the Great Depression. Better than any other novel of the period with which I am familiar, Lois Phillips Hudson's story presents, with intelligence and rare understanding, the frightful disaster that closed thousands of rural banks and drove farmers off their farms, the hopes and savings of a lifetime in ruins about them."
New York Times Book Review

"Hudson does a superb job of revealing the physical texture of farm life on the prairie―its sounds, smells, colors, sensations. Then she goes further, examining the spiritual texture as well. Her characters are bound to each other and to their land in a kind of harsh intimacy from which there is no relief. Weather, poverty, anger, and pride are the forces that drive them and ultimately wear them down. . . Like the best books of any era, it convinces us of its characters' enduring humanity, and surprises us, again and again, with the depth of emotion it makes us feel."
Minneapolis Star Tribune

"At her best, Lois Phillips Hudson can make the American Ordeal of the 1930s so real that you can all but feel the gritty dust in your teeth."
Omaha World-Herald

  • This title is also available at your favorite e-book vendor.
  • 452 pages
  • 5.375 x 8.25 inches
  • ISBN: 9780873511759

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