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The year is 1875, and a young physician’s wife, Sarah Archer, is settling into a new life on the Iowa frontier, expecting her first child. A survivor of the Civil War, she wrestles with troubling memories of her childhood on her family’s Alabama plantation. As Sarah struggles amid anger, love, and the inherited lies of “ladyhood,” she realizes that her greatest struggle is within herself.

Revolving around the mysterious disappearance of Seth, the enslaved boy Sarah loved, Eldorado, Iowa braids scenes of Sarah’s childhood on the plantation before and during the war with her present life on the Midwestern frontier, the accidents of small-town life, and the daily textures of marriage, domesticity, and grace. Narrating the ties of love, anger, silence, and misunderstanding, Eldorado, Iowa explores how we grow through, and beyond, what we think we know of our pasts in order to discover our true homes, our true lives, and our true paths into the future.

AMY WELDON (PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) is professor of English at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. She is the author of the Hands-On Life: How to Wake Yourself Up and Save The World and The Writer’s Eye: Observation and Inspiration for Creative Writers.