In the 1870’s, Jacob and Sarah Wade travel with their three children in a covered wagon to lay claim to land in Kansas to call their own and scratch out a living. The book follows three generations of the Wade family although it concentrates mostly on the relationship between Martin Wade, the oldest son of Jacob and Sarah, and the woman he chooses to marry, Rose. The hard existence of farm life takes a toll on all involved and affects each person differently. This novel was a best seller when it was published in 1921 by the husband and wife writing team of Emanuel Haldeman-Julius and Anna Marcet Haldeman-Julius. It was considered an example of the new writing of naturalism and realism being published at the time. “Painfully gloomy as it is,” the New York Times noted, “Dust must be classed among the ‘big’ novels of the year.”
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