(Image from Barnes & Noble)
For 19 years, Annie Bell has lived on a farm in the Oklahoma Panhandle with her husband and children. Of a practical nature, she does what needs to be done. Foolish notions—like abandoning their failing farm—have no place inside her head. Instead, she must do what she always does: keep going. This is becoming increasingly difficult as drought cracks the earth beneath her feet, the farm disintegrates before her eyes, and worry for her starving children and fanatical husband worry her heart. Annie's neighbors are deserting Mulehead in droves. Should the Bells follow?
As dust storms continue to swirl around the Bells, each member of the family—rational Annie, visionary Samuel, restless Birdie, and sickly Fred—will have his/her own challenges to face. With drought strangling their hope, it will take every ounce of determination they possess just to survive. In a bleak, devastating time and place, what will happen to one ordinary Dust Bowl family?
A "cheery Dust Bowl story" is an oxymoron, of course, but I Will Send Rain by Rae Meadows was even more depressing than I thought it would be. The setting is so vivid that the reader can feel the characters' heartbreaking despair as well as their desperate hope. Plot wise, the story doesn't go much of anywhere, making the tale seem extra long and dull. That, along with its bleak, unflinching tone made this novel a difficult read for me. I cared about the characters, but the book was so sad and depressing that I couldn't wait to finish it.
If this were a movie, it would be rated:
for language (a few F-bombs, plus milder expletives), sexual content, blood/gore, and disturbing subject matter
To the FTC, with love: Another library