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Synopsis

Born in 1918 in Fort Benton, Montana, Nedra Sterry has crafted a powerful memoir of life on the Montana prairies and a childhood defined in equal measure by poverty and grace, hard work and family ties. The daughter of hailed-out homesteaders, Sterry grew up in a succession of very remote one-room schoolhouses in northern and central Montana, where her mother, a teacher, eked out a living.

Sterry married a wheat farmer and raised five children of her own on the Montana Hi-Line, and she learned young to take pleasure where she found it: in porcupine hunts, Saturday night dances, well-told stories, and the meadowlark's song. Clear-eyed and decidedly unsentimental, Sterry traces her family through the homesteading boom, the Great Depression, World War II, and the postwar advancements brought by rural electrification. In doing so, she offers remarkable insight — and a woman's perspective — on family, work, and life in 20th century Montana.

"Amazing...luminous...heartfelt...'When the Meadowlark Sings' should take its place among the very best Montana memoirs."
— David McCumber, author of "The Cowboy Way"

"I realized as I finished reading that I had been holding my breath. This author really knows how to tell a story."
— Cai Emmons, author of "His Mother's Son"

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