Every year, I exchange my regular fiction for Christmas stories. I can’t get enough of them in December! Several years ago, I thoroughly enjoyed the book, Where the Treetops Glisten. That is the first time I read a book by Cara Putman. Soon after, I did some online communicating with Cara and discovered that she is also a Nebraskan. Although she calls Indiana home now, she would definitely consider herself a Husker.
Several of her books are set in the “Good Life” state. Including this series that was just released again: Cornhusker Dreams. The new covers are almost as beautiful as the stories inside. What is great about this trilogy is that the stories are all connected, but yet they cover distinct ways that Nebraska was actually a part of World War 2. Until a few years ago, I did not realize that our central state played such a part in the conflict that was mainly fought thousands of miles away.
The first story, Canteen Dreams, revolves around the North Platte canteen. What is special about this story is that the details loosely follow the story of Cara’s own grandparents. If you are not familiar with how the fine people of the North Platte served hundreds of soldiers in the war, you can learn a bit more and see some pictures by clicking on the post below.
The second story, Sandhill Dreams, is set primarily at Fort Robinson. This Northwest Nebraska location has had many functions for the U.S. military. During World War 2, their primary focus was training war dogs. Cara’s take on this story is an interesting one. You will have to read the book to find out why I think that. 🙂 Below is a link to learn a bit more about Fort Robins.
The third story is entitled Captive Dreams. Evidently to keep area farms going, German World War 2 prisoners of war were sent to the Midwest. They then served as laborers in place of men who were fighting overseas. I think that this must have been hard on families, yet what a way to serve a sentence for the prisoners. At some point, I want to go to the Nebraska Prairie Museum outside of Holdrege. They have a whole section devoted to this part of Nebraska history.
If you are fan of historical fiction, you will love these books. Although they would be considered historical romances, that is only really a part of the story. Because of all of the research that Cara put into the books, the storylines feel authentic. You will learn more about Nebraska history without even realizing that you are doing that! By the way, all three books are available as individual Kindle titles. If you search hard enough, you may be able to find them as a book collection. However you choose to read the books, you definitely will appreciate this series.