A story of women’s friendships

A story of women's friendships by CK Van Dam

A key storyline in Lone Tree Claim is the women’s friendships on the frontier. That’s why the dedication in Lone Tree Claim reads in part: “My mother taught me that having girlfriends is important… They support us when we’re struggling. They celebrate when we triumph. They are a sounding board when we’re choosing a path.”

I didn’t realize I was writing about women’s friendships until I read Michelle Obama’s book, “The Light We Carry.” In her book, Obama wrote, “I am fully convinced that you will get further in life when you’ve got at least a couple of solid friends around you, when you’re reliably and demonstratively invested in them, and they in you.” And then I remembered that I’d heard similar words before — from my mother.

Throughout the book, there’s a recurring theme about the importance of women’s friendships. Sarah Wright, Polly Gibson and Lara Goya were vitally important in helping Katie Rose Kelly survive and thrive on the Dakota frontier. These women were a support group for one another. Polly gave Katie a job and a place to stay when she needed it. Sarah taught Katie about sheepherding and weaving. And Lara, well, you’ll have to read the book to find out about Lara and Katie’s friendship.

I’m sure people will see Lone Tree Claim as a romance book. But as my editor told me, Katie came to her claim without knowing a soul in the Territory. Before long, she creates a community of loving friends who are her new family on the prairie. I think that’s just as important.

Lone Tree Claim is dedicated to women who support and celebrate other women.