Destined to a life of servitude, Karl Kessel, a turn-of-the-century German immigrant from a Danube Swabian settlement in Surtschin, Yugoslavia receives an unexpected gift of The Ticket, to America. Grasping his dream he leaves behind his young wife, Katja and two small sons. Karl boards the KronPrinz Wilheim and sails for a country he knows nothing about, only that it promises the opportunity he covets. When he arrives in America, he becomes consumed and obsessed with the unwavering desire to be the owner of a farm—to be his own man. Over a year later, when Katja steps off a train with their sons in the wilds of sparsely settled Wyoming, she questions, ”Is this where I am to spend my life?!” Katja soon discovers that it is not only the geography of her situation which will make her life difficult, as she gives everything her husband demands of her, but it is never enough. In her debut historical novel, the first of a trilogy, Karen Schutte spins a compelling family story woven with rich historical detail. Her nuanced and unvarnished narrative exposes the harsh realities of life in the last century and many memorable events as the Kessels made their journey of life. The Ticket is an unforgettable and touching account of a true American family, filled with ambition, promises, love, loss, and ultimately, a legacy of survival.
First in Historical Fiction- 2013 by Wyoming Historical Society.