Hard Times in 1930s Dust Bowl #FridayFunReads

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

The Four Winds

by Kristin Hannah

Copyright 2021.

 

What Amazon Says

 

From the number-one bestselling author of The Nightingale and The Great Alone comes a powerful American epic about love and heroism and hope, set during the Great Depression, a time when the country was in crisis and at war with itself, when millions were out of work and even the land seemed to have turned against them.

“My land tells its story if you listen. The story of our family.”

Texas, 1921. A time of abundance. The Great War is over, the bounty of the land is plentiful, and America is on the brink of a new and optimistic era. But for Elsa Wolcott, deemed too old to marry in a time when marriage is a woman’s only option, the future seems bleak. Until the night she meets Rafe Martinelli and decides to change the direction of her life. With her reputation in ruin, there is only one respectable choice: marriage to a man she barely knows.

By 1934, the world has changed; millions are out of work and drought has devastated the Great Plains. Farmers are fighting to keep their land and their livelihoods as crops fail and water dries up and the earth cracks open. Dust storms roll relentlessly across the plains. Everything on the Martinelli farm is dying, including Elsa’s tenuous marriage; each day is a desperate battle against nature and a fight to keep her children alive.

In this uncertain and perilous time, Elsa—like so many of her neighbors—must make an agonizing choice: fight for the land she loves or leave it behind and go west, to California, in search of a better life for her family.

The Four Winds is a rich, sweeping novel that stunningly brings to life the Great Depression and the people who lived through it—the harsh realities that divided us as a nation and the enduring battle between the haves and the have-nots. A testament to hope, resilience, and the strength of the human spirit to survive adversity, The Four Winds is an indelible portrait of America and the American dream, as seen through the eyes of one indomitable woman whose courage and sacrifice will come to define a generation.

Buy from Amazon.

 

My Thoughts

 

This book reminds me of The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. Although these two stories have separate plots and different characters, the theme of moving west in search of a better life and not finding it is the same.

Through Kristin Hannah’s vivid descriptions, I was right there with Elsa and her family, as they battled heat and dust storms in Texas, were flooded out while camping in California, losing almost everything they owned, and fought, along with other workers, for equal pay at the hands of rich, heartless growers.

I wish I could say that this novel’s ending is more positive than that of The Grapes of Wrath. In a way, it is, but it’s still shocking. However, if you read this book, you’ll be enlightened about hard times during the Great Depression and harsh treatment of families who migrated to California, a part of our history of which we should never be proud.

***

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

Front cover image contains: elderly woman in red sweater sitting next to a window.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?

***

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A giveaway and book Review, October 14, 2021 #Reblogs

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.Thanks to fellow blogger Carol Farnsworth for her great review of my latest book, Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me. You’ll also find, in her post, instructions on how you can win a free signed copy of her poetry collection, Leaf Memories, which I reviewed here at: https://abbiescorner.wordpress.com/2021/08/13/nature-poetry-for-all-seasons-fridayfunreads/ Happy reading! To learn more about my new novel and find out where to get your copy, visit:  https://www.abbiejohnsontaylor.com

traveling up and down the blind highway of lifeBlind on the Lite Side

I am sitting here at my desk after finishing a fellow author’s book, “Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me.” But first , I want to tell you of an opportunity to put your name in for a drawing for my signed chapbook,”Leaf Memories.” Go to

http://www.handyuncappedpen.com/2021/10/giveaway-leaf-memories-by-carol.html

Just go to the site of the Handy uncapped pen and write a comment or put your name and email under the cover photo of Leaf Memories, to have your name in the drawing. While you are there, check out this blog source for writers with disabilities.

Now to my review of Abbie Taylor’s newest novel. The title refers to one of the characters, a Grandma with dementia . She fails to recognize one of her grandaughters. In a moment of clarity, she reveals a family secret that threatens to change the family forever.

I was in the room with Natalie when her Grandma in…

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A Unique Science Fiction Tale #FridayFunReads

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

 

Note: This book review was posted here several years ago. Recently, the author, whom I’ve known for quite some time, passed away after a long battle with cancer. I’m reposting this, with some slight changes, in her memory.

***

The Demmies: A Novel

By Ann K. Parsons

Copyright 2017.

Buy from Smashwords.

 

Fast forward to the year 2050. Demmies are what Randy Newman could have meant by “Short People.” These genetically engineered human beings are no more than two feet tall, and as a result, their bodily functions are different from ours. However, they have voices and minds just like we do and can live, love, and think just like the rest of us.

For years, Alex Kenyon and his family have been birds in a gilded cage, living in a luxurious doll house in a lab in Houston, Texas. By day, they are celebrities, promoting the cause of genetic engineering through regular press conferences. By night, they are tortured at the hands of mad scientist Dr. Lud.

As the book opens, Alex’s wife has just given birth to their tenth child. Everyone is on edge as a result of what is being done to them at night, which no one knows about, and the adults fear for their safety and that of the children. They’re afraid to try and escape because it’s a big world out there with big people who may or may not help them. After a series of events including the discovery of a Mexican family of demmies in a different part of the lab complex and the fake death of the Kenyons’ oldest son, some of those big folks risk their lives in an attempt to help them escape and start a new life.

I met the author, Ann Parsons, several years ago when she joined a writers’ group to which I belong. She began writing this story in the 1970’s. After joining our group, she decided to start work on it again and sent chapters to our email list. Even so, knowing how the book ends, I found it hard to put down and might have pulled an all-nighter in order to finish it more quickly.

You don’t have to be a science fiction buff to appreciate this story of breaking free from oppression. The Demmies is the first of a trilogy of books Ann has written. Unfortunately, unless the other two books can be published posthumously, we won’t know more about these interesting, short people.

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by DLD Books

Front cover image contains: elderly woman in red sweater sitting next to a window.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?

***

Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website