This is a History Book, and a Love Story, written by a very talented writer. It comprehensively describes the challenges, heartaches and successes of her uniquely American family, which developed the foundation for Dr. Erickson's amazing career as a forensic sociologist and nationally known expert witness on violent crime. I had trouble putting the book down, late at night and I could not wait for the opportunity to resume my reading the next day, so that I could learn what was happening next to the Erickson family. I read the book over one busy weekend. The "saga" for the reader begins at the start of the Twentieth Century. The book reads like a "first-person" historic account but occasionally the author skillfully inserts prose that invoke eye-watering emotions in the reader. Not to be a "spoiler" but as the story progresses, anyone who is not totally in love with Dewey and Opal, by the time little Rosie is born, is reading a different book. Dr. Erickson reminds the readers that so many of the early Twentieth-Century illnesses and physical conditions that were fatal then, could not be treated medically, as they can today. Those were the days before penicillin and other antibiotics and the medical advances that we take for granted today. This would be a good book for Millennials to read, to provide them with an understanding of the hardships and the losses that their own families endured a mere one-hundred years ago. The Prairie Patriarch is the story of a foundation built by loving parents, during tough times, in a harsh place, enduring hardship after hardship, which eventually led to Dr. Erickson's iconic career.
Rosemary J Erickson