Arizona Dakota Long grows up in Titusville, Pennsylvania, during the heady years which began when Col. Edwin Drake struck oil in 1859. The daughter of a harness maker, she struggles with her love for education, her devotion to her family – especially her mother Caroline – and her desire for adventure beyond the valley. During the three school terms of her thirteenth year, Kode Long deals with making new friends, balancing her studies with a job, and taking on more responsibility at home, as her ill mother deals with pregnancy and her husband’s drinking.
This story is based on real-life Arizona Dakota Long Eddy (1857-1942). An ancestor of the author.