Book title from plot only

I am desperate to remember the title of a book I read years ago. I can tell the plot, and have searched Amazon for “Labels” trying to find it, but I’m blank. Can’t seem to find a website dedicated to such a search. Anyone know if such an animal exists or can The Straight Dope be used for this sort of question? Surely there is someone in this world who has read this book.:confused:

What’s the plot?

I’m almost positive the book you are thinking of is “Gone With the Wind”. However, it could also be “Fahrenheit 451”. But definitely one of those two.

(Just a minor housekeeping note–reported for forum change.)

ETA: this website has links to other sites that may help you find your book:

Hey, can you remember the main character’s full name? Or a character with an unusual name or nickname? (e.g., “Sideshow Bob” or “Zaphrod Beeblebrox” or “Aaron Cometbus.”)

Try googling that name in quotation marks.
(“John Galt”, for instance, will get “Atlas Shrugged.”)

What a great resource! There’s a book I read back in the mid 1960s about a kid who wanted to play football on his school’s team, but he was too fat. He dieted, worked out and even collapsed from the heat and was hospitalized trying to make the team, finally doing so and returning a fumble for a touchdown in the Big Game. I clearly remember the title being “Dub Halfback” or “Dub Tackle”, but Google searches on both terms return dead ends. I think I’ll plug in what I know about this book at the site you posted and see if they can help me. Thanks again!

Moved to Cafe Society.

General Questions Moderator

Just post the plot here. I can almost guarantee you will get someone telling you the exact title within twenty minutes.

The collective intelligence of the SDMB is sometimes amusing, often useful, and sometimes vaguely frightening. Forget Skynet - the Dope is what Sarah Connor has to worry about.


First of all I was wondering if there was a “site” I could find this out from, but apparently ya’ll thought I was asking for help on a book without giving any details. :dubious: So, since you might be able to help, here goes…
This is bad so don’t give me grief!!!:
I’ve no names at all :smack: … just that it was a western (of sorts) where a woman traveling west loses her husband. She has 2 small children. Her wagon breaks down and spends months living in and under her broken wagon, unable to continue traveling. She fishes, collects edible greens, and tries to keep her children alive, meanwhile the land she is “squatting” on belongs to a bitter widower who finds her and wants her off his land. It ends up he up he feels sorry for the children having to face a coming winter so he invites them to live in his lean-to and work for him. He’s bitter because he lost his wife and child in childbirth (I think). Anyway, they end up, well, you get the idea… yadayada, he decides he likes her, marries her. It was sweet. Okay, I’m a chick.
And NO IT WAS NOT GONE WITH THE WIND. Sheesh, everyone’s a comedian.


Sorry for being snarky right out of the box with my reply. I honestly thought you were just trolling the board. (Typically, if a person has a join date in the current month and the first post is somewhat cryptic, it is usually the work of a spammer.) As your question was first posted in General Questions (for which there are supposed to be real answers), I should have shown you a little more respect.

Anyway, I ran the plot past my wife (who also happens to be a chick who likes that sort of genre), but it didn’t ring any bells.

As was mentioned upthread a bit, there is a really good possibility that someone here on the Dope will have read the book and will be along shortly to help out.

Welcome to the SDMB. Stick around for a while, and soon, you too, will be able to serve up the snarky yuks with the best of us.

Well, in lieu of other details, can you tell us roughly how many years ago this was? Anything can help, including any unusual details you might remember.

Here’s a link to Amazon’s Advanced Search page. It lets you search by keywords. If the text of the book includes the keywords, you’ll be shown a selection of titles as well as the page on which those words appear.

I tried using “bitter widower, under the wagon”, etc. and several possibilities popped up.

Any memory of characters’ names, locations, time period, unusual weather, names of those edible greens – anything else stand out?

You can search for keywords, character names, etc in Google Books. Specify an approximate date range to narrow the search.

Yeah, many such questions have been asked and answered here.

I’ve personally found a few answers using the search engine linked above.

Yeah, I wish I could remember at least one name or even a phrase from the book. I know, I suck. And seriously, the only different word I remember was “squatter.” The land owner used it only once when referring to having to force people off his many acres (rancher dude) when they hang out too long… which of course she kinda had to… with her wagon broken. Oh, and when I say she lost her husband, I didn’t really mean he wandered off and she couldn’t find him. He died on the trail west.
I read it at least 3 years ago, but it was not a not new, but I doubt it was more than 15 years old.
I’ve looked for “key labels” on Amazon like widower or widow and wagon, or widow and 2 children and that book just doesn’t come up. I’ve actually spent an entire morning searching Amazon and Kindle books I’ve bought (which are hundreds). This one just puzzles me. It’s similar to a Janette Oke’s books, but it’s none of hers.
Well, I sure hope one of ya’ll can help. And thanks for all the interest. It’s nice to know so many are even considering answering me. Oh, and Bob, you’re forgiven. :smiley:

I don’t suppose the cover featured the two main characters in a passionate but not explicit pose, did it? 'Cause this starting to sound like Oregon Trail meets Harlequin Romance.

No Brian, this was a super clean book. No sleeping together. He only married her after a few months because he felt her being at his home might sully her, but he moved out to the lean-to and moved her and her two children into the house. It was so all so amazingly sweet, and beautiful I’d like to remember it. I know, I know, I can just see your eyes rolling.
I’ve decided the perfect way to find out this title is to write the dang thing myself and wait for some publisher to sue me. Like washing your car if you want rain…

This sounds really familiar. Let me think on it.

ETA: Look at this page: Old West Novels

oooooo, I’ll be your best friend!:slight_smile:

I’m sure this is not the book you mean because it’s about a teenager and her siblings and not a mother and her children, but your description reminded me of the YA novel Where the Lilies Bloom by Vera and Bill Cleaver. I mention this just because you might enjoy reading it. I’m afraid I don’t recognize the actual book you’re talking about.

It almost sounds like Letters from a Woman Homesteader except that Letters is nonfiction. But there are some similarities. In Letters, a widow with a child accepts a job as housekeeper for a homesteader. He’s a gruff, bitter man – I don’t remember if he’s a widower or not.

There’s a section in the book where she travels on a wagon with her child and gets lost, or snowed under (or something). Also, she and the widower live together but don’t sleep together until they get married.

The book’s available on Kindle for free, and it was made into an excellent movie called Heartland with Conchata Ferrell and Rip Torn.