Following the tradition of Laura Ingalls Wilder, A Farm In the Hidewood: My South Dakota Home depicts farm life several generations after the Ingalls family lived on the Dakota prairie. One-room country schools still existed in the 1960s and blizzards still occurred. Thirteen-year-old Diane dreamed of being pretty and popular and of traveling to distant places she read about in books. While the close-knit Diekman family worked and played together on the Hidewood Valley farm, Diane struggled with shyness and a lack of self-confidence when away from home. She feared the upcoming transition from her one-room elementary school to the town high school attended by two hundred students. Would she make friends? Would the others like her? She wondered if the boy she admired might finally notice her.
Readers of A Farm In the Hidewood will discover how to wash clothes with a wringer washer, churn homemade ice cream, sling hay bales into the barn, make blood sausage and butcher chickens. The author draws from memories and diaries to describe family experiences, adding dialogue and scenes as they might have happened.