Stinkweed: (sti¿k•wed) n. 1. a pest. 2. an invasive noxious weed having a strong obnoxious odor. 3. me, Beatrice O'Donnell Rawls. 4. the name my father gave me and the name I treasured most.
Stinkweed follows a skinny, red haired girl through her childhood during the 1940s and 50s where she grew up like wild oats on a small wheat farm near the Canadian border in North Dakota. She attends a one room school, chases ducks out of grain fields on horseback, tries smoking in the turkey shed, goes to dances every Friday night, and learns life lessons that matter. It is a coming of age book set in a time and place that will make you chuckle and remember your own youth as you read the letters written to a granddaughter. This post-war, post-depression book talks about a way of life that has since disappeared. The onset of communication technology has diminished the insulation that once protected the Midwest from the undercurrent of discontent that comes to more urban areas closer to the news. Stinkweed takes the reader back to that earlier more innocent time.