Gaeddert, Kansas, 1894
Summer Steadman has lost everything, her husband and children to typhoid. All her belongings along with the wagon have been burned. She does not have the heart nor the strength to go on to Oklahoma, they were to homestead. She decides instead to stay in this small town, hoping she would be able to get some sort of employment Summer would soon learn this quiet, charming little town didnít cotton to strangers and non-believers.
Peter Ollenberger is raising his son by himself. He is also the gristmill operator. He has a farm as well. There just isnít enough hours in a day for him to do everything he needs to do. His late wifeís grandmother does what she can, but with her age, her helpfulness is limited. He needs to do something, but what? He learns of Summer and her troubles. She just may be the answer to his prayers.
Summer agrees to teach Peterís son, just until his ribs heal enough for him to attend school. She canít stay in his house, that would be improper, so he clears out a little shack he had built half in the ground. Even this arrangement does not agree with the townspeople. Summer and Peter both know nothing improper in happening, itís the best solution to both their problems at the moment.
Despite the lack of warmth from the townspeople, Summer enjoys teaching Peterís son. She also enjoys talking with Peter. Peter knows Summer is grieving for her lost loved ones, but he also knows she has to let God back into her life, or she will not be able to get past her grief. Will Peter be able to break through Summerís hardened heart against God? Will Summer be able to love again? Will the townspeople be able to accept Summer into their fold?
This was a refreshing love story. Two people who needed each other, but each had some hurdles to overcome, which they both did with grace, style and charm. This is Kim Vogel Sawyerís debut novel.