Author: Jennifer L. Wright
Publisher: Tyndale House
Release Date: July 6, 2021
Don’t let the dust fool you about what’s inside!
Kathryn Baile, her older sister, and father have been working hard trying to survive the drought in Oklahoma during the great depression. Aside from being born with a club foot, everything was going great until her father married an outsider from Indiana named Helen. Then everything started going downhill when the drought began and the dust came. Kathryn never like Helen, but at least she had her sister, Melissa; until the day came that Melissa married into the wealthiest family in the county. Now Helen has managed to convince her father to travel back to Indianapolis to stay with her father, who is a doctor that can help Kathryn with her foot. Kathryn reluctantly agrees to leave her beloved Oklahoma and soon disaster strikes against their travels. Kathryn must rely on new unconventional travel companions and sheer will to complete her journey.
Melissa Baile just married into the wealthiest family in the county and hopes that she will be able to help her family as well as others. But she discovers that the reason this family is so wealthy is due to their treatment of the other residents. When she tries to help others, she is scathed by those she helps and punished by her own husband. But her will to do good can’t be outdone and she goes behind to husband’s back to help those in need, even if it cost her life.
Although this novel is set in the dust bowl, there is so much more going on than just the historical aspect to the story. Granted, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the historical accuracy played out across the pages from the dugouts to the dusters and the jackrabbit roundups to the government paying ranchers for their cattle and then doing what had to be done. And to top it off is how Washington wanted to portray the dust bowl compared to what it was.
Outside of the historical perspective, the redemption story of both sisters played out beautifully. Melissa had always had faith but had hers put firmly to the test. Kathryn had trouble believing until she realized what unconditional love was. Both stories were different yet intertwined. I loved so many of the supporting characters throughout this novel as well. Probably my two favorites were Mr. Hickory and Bert the photographer. Both brought a different perspective to what we see in history as the Dust Bowl.
I want to dive so much deeper, but then I feel that I would be giving a bit much away and want others to discover this wonderful book just like Dorothy discovered Oz. I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.