Sunday, October 7, 2012
Cruel Harvest - a Book Review
For BookSneeze, I chose to read Cruel Harvest by Fran Grubb. As part of agreeing to read the book in its entirety and posting a review about it on my blog and a consumer site, I received a complimentary copy of the book.
Cruel Harvest is a memoir of Ms. Grubb's and her siblings growing up with an abusive father who abused them physically and sexually, as well as their father physically abusing their mother. As migrant farm workers, it was not unusual for Ms. Grubb and her siblings to be out picking cotton or apple or whatever the produce at a very young age, for all day, and expected to bring in big quota in their pickings. They were constantly on the road and never had enough to eat, adequate clothing, and were constantly subjected to their father's abuse, living in fear and eventually hatred towards their father. Even when he was arrested and kept in jail after authorities learned of his abuse, he still managed to get out of prison after a few years, track down the children, steal them away and begin the cycle again of abuse.
Over the years one by one the children would run away and be on their own until Ms. Grubb is the last one left to do so. She eventually comes to marry an honorable man who is a devoted Christian, as she has come to be herself, and he helps track down her siblings. She is able to reunite with several of them after nearly 40 years of not seeing them and is able to finally have the family she wished she had so many years before. She is also, through the working of God in her life, able to forgive her father, who is long dead, but she is able to visit his grave and express forgiveness.
My thoughts, from page one to the end of the book, it was a gripping sad tale of abuse and fear in conditions I can't imagine, cold, hungry, afraid to say or do anything, etc. It was a book that will impact you and make you think that there are still kids out there being abused in such a way. Its a book where you wonder if any good can come out of the lives of the people that are abused, but yet good did come out of it in the siblings that Fran Grubb was able to find, several had married and had loving families and were successful in their own right. It is a story wondering if forgiveness could happen but it does only by the grace of God.
Reading it, it was hard to keep focused that it definitely was a true story and not a fiction. These were real children and a wife being abused. Like I said earlier, it was definitely a book that was gripping and could not be put down.
It was a book leaving you for more, but you know she told the story as she knew it. The loose ends that were there, wondering what had happened to her father after she left, where her mom had gone after she abandoned them, etc., would be questions she would never have answered, as well as those that read her book. Her husband did find her parents' graves, but what had transpired after she left would never be answered.
I would recommend this book. It sadly tells the story of abuse, but it also tells the story of forgiveness and faith in God. It will be a story that stays with you for a very long time.
Posted by betty at 8:50 PM