The Worst Hard Time, By Timothy Egan
This was an absorbing read for me (although, I am a little partial to historical novels like these). Perhaps this might have been due to the fact that I am a Texan now, but, I was trying to picture those who settled the High Plains and finding it so hard to believe that they actually did. They faced the elements squarely in the eye, mustering un-human strength to tough out daily life. And all I can really say is "wow". Timothy Egan is also an inspiring writer, and painted a vivid picture of how these times actually were through actual survivor's stories.
The Dust Bowl struck the American High Plains in midst of the Great Depression (1931) , lingering till 1939. Before the land was shrouded by this dark curtain that blocked the sun and suffocated life, it was known as a land of opportunity and rich soil to plant one's dreams in. Many were duped into thinking it as such, as greedy connoisseurs tried to settle the land as fast as they could, charming eager ears with false promises.
Nonetheless, when the settlers arrived and reality had bit them hard, they set to work with determination, to make the land their own, despite the disappointments.
Through the heartbreak of the dust storms, the heat, the locust swarms, and loss of life, my heart grew in a great appreciation for those before us, living a life that we cannot even imagine. I could go on and on, but I would just encourage you to read it - and now, I am off to read our next book ;)