I Will Send Rain, by Rae Meadows****

Happy release day! I can’t wait to hear what you think of Meadows’ thunderous tale of redemption. It’s available today.

Seattle Book Mama

iwillsendrainAnnie Bell could have chosen to marry a well-to-do member of the gentry in her home town, a man with fine china and a full time kitchen servant. Young and buoyant, she chooses love instead, and moves to Oklahoma with Samuel Bell to start a brand new life on the free land that’s been provided. What could go wrong when two young people are strong and dedicated to one another? Oh, it’s an old, old story in so many ways, but Meadows makes it brand new. Thanks to Net Galley and Henry Holt Publishers, I read it free and in advance in exchange for this honest review. It will be available to the public August 9, 2016.

When we join the Bells they are no longer newlyweds; a lot of water has gone under the bridge. They have Birdie, a teenager determined to find a way out of Mulehead, and…

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The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived The Great American Dust Bowl, by Timothy Egan ****

I should probably give this book the fifth star it really deserves, but I was so demoralized at the end, I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

What makes it worth going there, just when you know already your heart will be broken, is that this is a chunk of US history that rarely gets covered in K-12 education, and like most, I came away not knowing much about it. In fact, I was qualified to TEACH history before I knew much about it. Curiosity was the only thing that got me to go there, between those pages.

It’s a story with no heroes and no real survivors. It’s a grinding, miserable nightmare of a story. The environmental message is its raison d’etre, but of course, very little grassland in America is allowed to lie fallow, save perhaps that inside national park boundaries.

Why would ground so hospitable to grass, not accept wheat? That’s the question I went in with (being no kind of scientist) and I came out with an answer. As we look for ways to mend the annihilation humans and corporations have wrought on this earth, this particular ecological (and very human) story is one that has to be told. I read it, because I just had to know. I recommend you do the same.