“Broken Ground” by Karen Halvorsen Schreck is a novel of the Depression. Ruth’s family is not a happy one. Her mother is beaten down by her tyrant of a father as are the rest of the family. Ruth marries her sweetheart and they begin life together in the Texas oil fields. Her father has disowned her for marrying and depriving him of the money she would have eared. Life for Ruth and Charlie is good. Then Ruth gets the news that Charlie has been killed in a well blow-out. She goes back home only to find that nothing has changed. When she gets a chance to go to college to become a teacher, she takes that means of escape and travels to California to accept her scholarship. When she is forced to leave the university because of the actions of one of her professors, she calls Thomas, the son of her mother’s friends.
In California during the Depression, Mexican migrant workers are not welcome. The government, in order to save the existing jobs for Americans, resorts to repatriating the Mexican workers and their families. Not only that, but they burn down their poor shacks so that there is nothing to return to. Thomas is very involved in trying to help these people. The love of his life has been taken along with her family back to Mexico. He is searching for her all the while trying to help these poor people. Ruth takes up his cause and begins to care for Thomas.
I thought that this story actually could have been written about what is happening in our country right now. That was very interesting to me, to think that things really haven’t changed in decades. There will always be struggles between different cultures and the tensions that result from that. I was sent a print copy of this book by Howard Publishers in return for my honest review.