Broken Ground by Karen Halvorsen Schreck

Broken Ground by Karen Halvorsen SchreckWhen a young oil rig widow escapes her grief and the Texas Dust Bowl, she discovers a surprising future—and new passion—awaiting her in California in this lyrically written romance by the author of Sing for Me.

Newly married to her childhood sweetheart, twenty-one-year-old Ruth Warren is settling into life in a Depression-era, East Texas oil town. She’s making a home when she learns that her young husband, Charlie, has been killed in an oil rig accident. Ruth is devastated, but then gets a chance for a fresh start: a scholarship from a college in Pasadena, CA. Ruth decides to take a risk and travel west, to pursue her one remaining dream to become a teacher.

At college Ruth tries to fit into campus life, but her grief holds her back. When she spends Christmas with some old family friends, she meets the striking and compelling Thomas Everly, whose own losses and struggles have instilled in him a commitment to social justice, and led him to work with Mexican migrant farmworkers in a camp just east of Los Angeles. With Thomas, Ruth sees another side of town, and another side of current events: the forced deportation of Mexican migrant workers due to the Repatriation Act put into place during President Herbert Hoover’s administration.

After Ruth is forced to leave school, she goes to visit Thomas and sees that he has cobbled together a night school for the farmworkers’ children. Ruth begins to work with the children, and establishes deep friendships with people in the camp. When the camp is raided and the workers and their families are rounded up and shipped back to Mexico, Ruth and Thomas decide to take a stand for the workers’ rights—all while promising to love and cherish one another.

SO…. That pretty much told you all that happened. But you don’t get the feelings from it!

Ruth and Charlie were deeply in love. They grew up together and hoped to grow old together. There home was a place to dream and live with hope. Even the little girl that lived next door believed this. Ruth taught her so much in a short little time, and will never forget her.

When Charlie died, Ruth was completely lost. He was her entire life, all of her hopes and dreams had Charlie in them. Without her loving husband what would she do? Well, I can tell ya, with her friend from the library she isn’t just going to stay at home with her parents and not reach for her dreams.

Ruth is scared to death and excited when she heads off to collage(who wouldn’t be?). There she meets another great friend, and Ruth learns a lot more about how other people live. While at collage she becomes an intern for one of her teachers. He’s a sleazy, creepy, horrible teacher in my opinion. But…she does learn a lot. Her dream of teaching gets stronger and closer to becoming true! Until she is assaulted and kicked out of school. Mainly because she was a pretty woman and not a floozy!

After Ruth meets back up with Thomas everything changes. Her dreams are once again going to become true. She is going to be helping to teach the kids at the migrant workers camp. This at first kind of worried me, I mean come on, she speaks no Spanish!! Thankfully she had made more friends in the camp, and was learning their language.

I feel I am now going off topic but you need to read this book. Its not just about a woman losing her husband, but also a woman finding herself. Reaching for goals and dreams and a life she wants after being torn down so far. Its about compassion, friendship, longing, and relationships in general. Its about fighting for what you believe in, and taking up for the underdogs. Its about learning and loving, no matter the race. Most importantly I believe it’s about the way people are treated!!! What ever happened to ‘Treat others the way you want to be treated?’ (Now I’m really getting off topic.)

I’ve cried, laughed, and cheered throughout Broken Ground. I’m just going to say it: I don’t care what kind of books you life or don’t like. If you only read one other book this whole year (other than your Bible) read this one! Trust me its worth it!


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