It's hard to believe that this powerfully written and well-constructed book can be a first novel.
It's short enough to read in one sitting; you won't want to break the mood once you're absorbed in it.
Set in 1917, in the unforgiving South Dakota Badlands, it focuses on a few months in the life of Rachel DuPree, wife of one of the very few black ranchers, a man completely obsessed with land ownership, his measure of equality with the white man. He married for land; he would sell his daughter for land; and yet we can understand Rachel's love for her proud husband. Isaac's unforgiving loathing of the native Indians puzzled me but, finally, Weisgarber explains it in one succinct sentence - and it all falls into place. (It would spoil it to explain, it takes your breath away.)
The novel starts with an immensely powerful scene when the parents drop their terrified 6yo daughter down a drought-stricken well, to scoop up the last few cupfuls of water; knowing they will have to make her do it again because only a small child can be winched up again. An amazing book.