I'm nearly at the end of the 50 State Reading Challenge with just a few books to go. The Beet Queen is set in North Dakota.
Louise Erdrich quickly takes us into the world of two children whose mother abandons them. The 1930s were a tough time in America and none more so than for children who often found their childhood wrenched from them.
From the cover:
On a spring morning in 1932, young Karl and Mary Adare arrive by boxcar in Argus, North Dakota. Orphaned in a most peculiar way, Karl and Mary look to their mother's sister for refuge. So begins an exhilarating forty year saga brimming with unforgettable characters: ordinary Mary, who causes a miracle; seductive Karl, who lacks Mary's gift for survival; Sita, their lovely, ambitious cousin; Wallace Pfef a town leader bearing a lonely secret and Celestine James, a mixed-blood Chippewa.
Book club reading guide here