In the Nebraska Sandhills, nothing is more sacred than the bond of family and land-and nothing is more capable of causing deep wounds. In Pamela Carter Joern's riveting novel The Floor of the Sky, Toby Jenkins, an aging widow, is on the verge of losing her family's ranch when her granddaughter Lila-a city girl, sixteen and pregnant-shows up for the summer. While facing painful decisions about her future, Lila uncovers festering secrets about her grandmother's past-discoveries that spur Toby to reconsider the ambiguous ties she holds to her embittered sister Gertie, her loyal ranch hand George, her not-so-sympathetic daughter Nola Jean, and ultimately, herself. Propelled by stark realism in breakneck prose, The Floor of the Sky reveals the inner worlds of characters isolated by geography and habit. Set against the sweeping changes in rural America-from the onslaught of corporate agribusiness to the pressures exerted by superstores on small towns-Joern's compelling story bears witness to the fortitude and hard-won wisdom of people whose lives have been forged by devotion to the land.
Pamela Carter Joern is a widely published author whose work has appeared in South Dakota Review, Red Rock Review, Feminist Studies, and Minnesota Monthly. She is also the author of five professionally produced plays, the winner of a Tamarack Award in 2001, and the recipient of a Minnesota State Arts Board writing fellowship.