Solid, sensible text hulled out of an old, heavy earth:
The farmer was a tense willowy man with a German name and a head as bald as a rock.
The farmer’s wife was fine cook and a generous woman.
Meals, too, are solid and heavy and bald: boiled ham, baked chicken, wax beans, mashed potatoes, corn fritters, brown bread, rhubarb pie.
Food centers the story and exposes economic differences. Sam’s Place is a local diner for poor white trash, where Minnesota Indians eat fried balony and jelloed fruit. The proprietor is an ex-sheriff with three children, a busy wife, and local loyalties. One of them is an old odd Indian who gives him a mission: find my son and deliver a message.
The rich, Canadian son does not want to be found. He is unmined, along with a local past, dirty, unpleasant, but rich with truth.