Will Lindstrom was only sixteen when he traveled with his father from their farm in southern Minnesota to the "godforsaken" wilds of eastern Montana in 1919 to claim the body of his Uncle Amer. All these years later Will reveals the truths he learned about his beloved uncle and the prejudice that killed him and wounded his family.
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A Stone for Amer
A Stone for Amer, Heron Bay Publishing, is Connie Claire Szarke's new novel and companion book for Delicate Armor, a 2012 double finalist in the Midwest Book Awards: historical fiction and YA fiction.
In the late 1800s, the Transcontinental Railway opened up massive sections of the West for homesteading. In 1919, eager to stake his claim, Amer Lindstrom rode the rails from Minnesota to Eastern Montana. The following year, he was murdered. Some said it was because of a land dispute. Others, because of who he was—a man people called “different.” At age sixteen, Will Lindstrom and his father, having received the news by telegram, traveled for three days by train and stage (a 1917 Cadillac touring car) to get to Jordan, Montana. It took another three days to bring Amer home for burial.Seventy years later, accompanied by his daughter Callie, an elderly Will Lindstrom wishes to see that the gravesite has been done up properly, as promised by local relatives. They search the Rockford Swedish cemetery for a stone marker—proof that Uncle Amer mattered in this world. With such an event seared into his memory at a young age, Will has told this story often throughout the years. And always, there was something missing. A Stone for Amer is Will Lindstrom’s next to final telling.
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As if he were already on his way to broader horizons, Amer stepped in front of the kitchen window. Reading aloud from one of the pamphlets, he reached out as if to string his words across the treetops in the distant grove: Come see the beautiful Yellowstone River, the booming town of Forsyth, and Custer County—only three days by train and stage. "Now what sort of fellow could resist that?" he asked, leaning against the cook stove, arms crossed. "If I don't catch hold of it now, I might never go."