By the time you finish Neil Hamilton’s new book, “The Land Remains,” which is written partly in the voice of 40 acres of Iowa farmland, you realize you’ve read a love story.

An unconventional one, to be sure. This love isn’t romantic, it’s primal: love for the earth, the soil buried below our homes, highways and food supplies, the ground beneath our feet. Literally, the foundation on which we all exist.

Rekha Basu is a columnist for the Des Moines Register. Readers may send her email at

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