In order to have more of backdrop about the Great Depression for Grandma Leora’s stories during those years, I hunted for books. I really wanted Iowa stories, or at least ones that reflected the Midwest. Most of those dealt with how hard it was being part of a farm family in those days. Like my father’s family. But farm families weren’t hungry.
Where were stories about families living in small towns?
There are plenty of scholarly tomes, complete with statistics, but those just didn’t satisfy what I was searching for. I ended up with children’s books. There’s a series by Crystal Thrasher, about a girl from a needy family “coming of age.” They were okay, but still not what I was wanting.
I’d even written a short review of it on Amazon: “A expressive and spare journey through the physical and emotional obstacles of a young teenager living through terrible losses during the Great Depression. I’m writing the stories of my mother’s family when she was about the same age. The gaunt unrhymed poetry expresses that bleak era of our history so well.”
The photo on the cover is by Walker Evans, hired by the Farm Security Administration of FDR’s New Deal to record efforts to help tenant farmers and sharecroppers. “Daughter of a cotton sharecropper, Hale County, Alabama, about 1935.”