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October in the Earth

In Depression-era Kentucky, a defiant wife embarks on an impulsive and liberating journey in a powerful novel by the bestselling author of One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow and The Ragged Edge of Night.

Del Wensley, wife of the most celebrated preacher in Harlan County, tries to mind her place. Until her husband’s infidelity pushes an already strained marriage to a breaking point. Clinging to her last hope for self-respect, Del turns her back on the rigid life she’s known. A coal train is rolling through the valley. With her eyes wide open to the unfamiliar, and to the freedom she craves, Del takes to the rails.

Rumbling across America, Del is soon drawn into a transient community among outcasts—and finds a special friend in Louisa Trout. A nomadic single mother, Louisa teaches Del the ways of the boxcars and promises to help her reach a migrant enclave where Del can learn the skills she’ll need to survive. But as they move forward together under desperate circumstances, even the closest of bonds threatens to break.

With the Depression taking its toll, Del must gather her strength and faith. As she carries on toward one unknown after another, her life becomes a fulfilling, sometimes dangerous, and exhilarating adventure. But no matter the risks, it’s a life that she alone controls.

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“Time and place are exceptionally well depicted, and the strong female characters make this a worthy read.” —Booklist

“This is a fully realized portrait of an era, as well as of a relationship between two women where no male heroes appear to save anyone.” —Historical Novels Review

“Fans of Olivia Hawker will delight in her masterful new novel. October in the Earth is a singular work of art—a testament to unexpected love and resilience during one of America's most challenging eras. Hawker's Dust Bowl heroines rise from their respective ashes, and will captivate readers with their spirited, sweeping journey through a starkly beautiful landscape ravaged by poverty and drought. Moving, lyrical, and completely unforgettable.” —Paulette Kennedy, bestselling author of The Witch of Tin Mountain

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