* Nora recalls her mother sitting at a drugstore counter, flirting with a man.
* Nora thinks about her father who disappeared before she was born. She wonders what it will be like when he returns.
* Thor Rolvaag was born to Norwegian immigrants. His father died in an accident when he was small and he was raised by his mother, Ione.
* Patty Jane's alcoholic parents died when she was a teenager. She and her sister Harriet were in the care of an aunt until they could support themselves.
* Patty Jane and Thor marry.
* Patty Jane announces that she is pregnant the morning after their marriage.
* A man in a new car, Avel Ames, pulls up to Harriet and invites her for a picnic.
* Avel is the male heir to Ames Grains.
* Avel proposes to Harriet. As an engagement gift he pays her tuition to music...
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