This is one of those ‘hold the front page’ books. It was sent to me by Bionic Book Subscription as part of my three month free subscription from them. When I unboxed it on video I looked and sounded doubtful that I would enjoy this book. I want to say, in public, that I will never doubt them again. They’ve sent me three books and each of them were top notch books. This one is probably the best of the three. And onto the book itself.
This novel should equal The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck for longevity. It is one of those books I will come back to time and again to learn and understand more of the Dust Bowls of America during the Great Depression of the 1930s. The story is told from two points of view, a mother and a daughter, as they wend their way through life. Sometimes life is good, sometimes it’s not so good, sometimes it’s downright hard.
This book is beautifully written and very hard to read. I wept through the last few chapters as I anticipated what was going to happen. Anticipating didn’t help, I only wept more.
I spent a lot of this book comparing what was happening to people as they left their homes in droves and picked cotton or fruit under dreadful conditions to how we’re living today during the pandemic. The hardship they suffered and the camaraderie between those who had so little just brought me right back to today. Where people share what little they have with those who also have little.
One of the things I absolutely loved is how one scene shows you don’t have to give expensive presents in order to show you care, and in order to please the recipient. It just needs a little thought and to find the right present. One Christmas we read about the children who have found the right present for their mother. It’s a journal mostly full of empty pages, the first few pages had been ripped away but the substitute was a few stubs of pencils. The children had probably found them thrown away, but this present was so precious to the mother as it gave her an outlet. They were living in very close quarters, in a tent, and she had no way of talking out her feelings with her 13 year old and her nine year old so close. This journal would give her freedom of expression and freedom from her parents so long ago.
This is a relatively new book, it’s one I’d recommend for any book group. In case you want to buy and read it here’s an affiliate link for you.