So Big By Edna Ferber
1925 Pulitzer Prize
Selina Peake had been living with her father in Chicago. He was a gambler. When he won, they lived high off the hog. When he lost...well, Selina learned to roll with the tide. But Simon gets shot in a bar by a woman aiming at someone else. So, at the age of 19, Selina has to earn her own living or return to two maiden aunts, a destiny she refuses to contemplate. She's accepted as teacher for the Dutch school at High Prairie. She boards with the Poole family.
Selina eventually marries farmer Purvis DeJong and the have a son, Dirk, to whom she gives the nickname So Big. But 8 years later Purvis dies and Selina is left alone to raise the boy and work the farm. Selina is determined that So Big will grow up to appreciate beauty.