Cruel Harvest: A Memoir by Fran Elizabeth Grubb

The first book to review for 2013 will probably end up being the hardest. Cruel Harvest is a memoir written by Fran Elizabeth Grubb and in she describes the most violent and soul wrenching experiences that no child should have to endure. To say she rose from despair and poverty is an understatement.

Grubb recounts the life that her mother, siblings, and herself endured at the hands of an abusive and alcoholic husband and father. His uncontrolled anger would send him into fits of rage that would end up with one member of the family or another being beaten, harassed, belittled, and or sexually abused, and that would continue until someone would have the strength to leave. And the abuse scenes were harrowing and very much in detail. I'm surprised she remembered in detail the beatings she and the other children around her endured. This was very much a hard read, but it does show that a will to survive and a resounding faith can turn a person in another direction than one that has already been carved. She could have ended up like her father being an abuser herself but she chose not to.

For much of her life Frances travels with her migrant farming family working in different fields, traveling from state to state with the growing and harvesting seasons. Because of this, there is no school for any of them, and no other children that they can make friendships. They are essentially alone and become the support for each other. Despite what all Grubb had been through, she ends up strong, healthy, and married to a man who insists on putting a headstone on her abusive father's unmarked grave many years later. To say that in itself is a testament of will and faith is an understatement.

Book Information:
  • Cruel Harvest: A Memoir by Fran Elizabeth Grubb with Bryan Reardon
  • Thomas Nelson; 2012
  • ISBN13: 9781595555052
  • Hardcover, dust jacket; 255 pages

Disclosure: This was provided by the publisher and any opinions are my own.