God bless people with the courage to write about the pain and shame in their childhoods. Fran Elizabeth Grubb's childhood was an unending nightmare no child should ever have to endure, but endure she did. She not only endured but triumphed.
One of seven children, she traveled across the south picking cotton with her parents. Her father was a cruel alcoholic who got meaner when he'd been drinking--which was every day. He beat his wife and children for any or no reason and sexually abused his daughters. Only the love of their mother kept the children sane.
This is an amazing story by a courageous woman who, with the love and help of God and her wonderful husband, overcomes a shattering past to find and reunite most of her scattered family and forgive her father.
Cruel Harvest is a very powerful story of the grace of God in the midst of such awful circumstances. I knew going into reading this that I would be faced with the most evil side of humanity, but wasn't ready for how much of it there was in Fran Grubb's very young life. I would not wish upon anyone to have to go through what Fran went through. The book description is as follows:
"Get out here, now, or I'm gonna kill you!" he hollered.
Little girls are hardwired to hold their daddies in high esteem, so it comes as a shock the first time a daughter feels the back of her daddy's hand across her face . . . or watches him punch and kick her mother to within an inch of her life.
How could this be? Her older sisters teach her how to survive, even when he comes for her in the night.
A girl learns to become invisible, to look the other way, to say nothing when a curious stranger asks if she's okay. To lie. To expect nothing, not even from relatives.
To cry without tears.
To pray silently.
When she is fourteen, and weary, a girl begins to wish she were dead. Cruel Harvest is the compelling story of how she lived instead.
This was an incredibly moving story of how God worked in the life of Fran and her siblings in bringing them out of persecution from their father. This was a tough read, yet I couldn't put the book down. I highly recommend this book to everyone.
That doesn't mean that they're the easiest to read.
Some are just the opposite. Some are very, very hard to read.
Cruel Harvest by Fran Elizabeth Grubb is one of those.
Cruel Harvest tells the childhood story of a young girl named Fran, a small child who, along with her mother and siblings, endures the wrath and abuse (every form imaginable) of their alcoholic father.
Forbidden to attend school, she is forced into labor in cotton fields at a very young age. She has to endure as well as witness numerous acts of violence and abuse, things no child should ever know exist, much less see first-hand.
Through it all, Fran maintains a faith in Christ, and she grows up to have a healthy marriage and a family of her own. She believes that God has told her to share her story in hopes that it will encourage and speak to others, and this is the end result.
I will not sugarcoat this: This book was terribly difficult for me to read. I found myself wincing half of the time. It wasn't a nice book to read at bedtime before settling off to sleep. It shook me to the core and made me angry and heartbroken. Yet it also helped open my eyes to unspeakable horrors that have probably happened to folks all around me -- and that still happen today. Books like this challenge me to look outside of my own comfortable box and consider the pain of others. It also challenges me to stop complaining about things that don't matter. (And there's a lot that doesn't. After reading this book, I bet you'll agree.)
Cruel Harvest is a book telling the hard life of Frances Grubb. She lived the hard life of a little girl in a large poor family who followed the harvest working farms during harvest during the 1950s and 60s. She lived under the thumb of her vicious alcoholic father who regularly beat and raped his wife and 5 daughters. He sold his oldest son for $5 to his brother. Frances learned to cry silently and attempt to be as invisible as possible to avoid her father's wrath as much as possible. As the children became old enough they would run away from home. The best year of her childhood was when the remaining brother, sister and herself was taken away from their home and put into an orphanage.
Cruel Harvest is sometimes hard to read but Ms Grubb does not just tell the bad parts of her childhood but also tells of the good times. She does not tell her story in a poor me way but rather tells her story mentioning the bright spots that people who tried to help brought into her existence. She tells of her holding on to her faith that her mother had taught her and was strengthened by this as it matured through her life. I would recommend reading this but youth should most likely be in high school to be able to read the hardest parts of the book.
This book was provided for this review by Booksneeze.
CRUEL HARVEST by Fran Elizabeth Grubb is certainly one of the most interesting, riveting books I have ever read. It is the autobiography of a woman who, along with her mother and siblings, was abused by her father for many years until they, one by one, managed to escape his evil hands, voice and heart.
The reader will find himself experiencing a wide range of emotions as he reads this book...anger, relief, joy...but fortunately it ends on a good one. Probably the most amazing thing was how, as a child, Fran was able to have a spirit of survival which included not only physical strength but spiritual, as she found herself praying to God whom she knew was taking care of her. Her mother was an amazing source of strength and love to her children in the midst of pain and danger.
I would have liked to see more of the spiritual mentioned throughout the book but I have to remember the circumstances in which the author found herself. She did give some more solid thoughts about that which gave me the hope that she experienced, at a later date, a true conversion to Christ. I was pleased to know that she lives here in the south, I have already made contact with her on Facebook and I hope it works out to meet her when she is in the area soon.
(I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneezeÂ®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.)