I love stories set in the early years of America, when people were full of hope and had dreams of taming the rugged land. The stories of the wagon trains floating across rivers and dragging through the prairie land. This is one of my favorite settings for a story. “Under the Distant Sky,” by Al & Joanna Lacy is set in Independence, Missouri, the starting point for travelling west. Hannah and her husband, Solomon, own a general store and each year hear the dreams of those who travel through their area. They see the wagon trains leave all throughout the summer and make the trek west to try to tame the wild land. As everything starts to come together, we experience Hannah’s fears and aspirations as her family makes the decision to journey west. So often, you only see the hopes and dreams of going west and don’t see that there were many who had doubts, many who died along the way, many who gave up and went home…. “Under the Distant Sky” is a great story combining the hopes of making a better life with the fears of something new and unknown.