Released by North Star Press, 2010
Pomme de Terre tells the story of Serena and Gust Gustafson, a young couple who move to western Minnesota after losing everything in the Sioux Uprising. They live in constant danger from renegade raids although the government says the uprising is over. Pomme de Terre continues the story of Birdie and Ragna Larson, little girls kidnapped by the Sioux during the uprising. It also tells the story of Drumbeater, a Sioux brave, who rescues Birdie and Ragna to honor his uncle’s life and death friend.
Larry McMurtry, Pulitzer Prize winning author for Lonesome Dove, had this to say about Pomme de Terre: “I read Pomme De Terre with the greatest interest and enjoyment. It’s a very vivid telling of this tragic American story. I’ve long been wanting something in fiction about the Great Sioux Uprising, and this book is the best I’ve seen.”
Mary Ann Grossman, St. Paul Pioneer Press, March 3, 2011, had this to say about Pomme de Terre: Despite this novel’s strange title, it isn’t about potatoes. Pomme de Terre is a small town just north of Sauk Centre where this Pequot Lakes author sets her story of the 1862 Dakota Uprising.
Newlyweds Serena and Gust settle at Pomme de Terre and look forward to having a family. But government payments to the Indians are late, and the bloody war begins. Serena hates being away from her birth family, but she and Gust find nearby friends. Another part of the story involves two white children who are taken by Indians, about whom Simar writes sympathetically. There’s nothing on the book jacket to indicate this is a young-adult novel, but it would fit well into middle-school curriculum. Pulitzer Prize-winner Larry McMurtry gave it a nice plug: “I’ve long been wanting something in fiction about the Great Sioux Uprising and this book is the best I’ve seen.”