I cruised through the library to pick up two more books about the orphan trains, and I stumbled upon a very interesting book. It was on the "Staff Recommends" book display. The title is Cruel Harvest: A Memoir. The author is Fran Elizabeth Grubb. OMG! This book is unbelievable! It is about a migrant family. Fran is about the middle child of six children. Their father is very abusive to the mother and children. He sold one of them for $5 to a family member. He killed another one, an infant. He ended up in prison for awhile for sexually abusing his oldest daughter. The mother had to give the children up due to neglect. Prior to this, two of the older children (daughters – Brenda and Susie) left the household. (The household was a bus!) The father reappeared after his time in prison and reclaimed Fran and her sister (Nellie), who were living in an orphanage. Their brother (Robbie) was placed with a family via Social Services. The abusive cycle restarted. Fran’s dad met a woman while working on one of the migrant farms. She had a young daughter. He hooked up with her and got her pregnant, bearing him another son. His first son was sold to a family relative for $5. The other son was placed with a family via Social Services. Fran’s Dad had a "mess of children" and couldn’t take care of them. He was an alcoholic. He "drank away the money" earned in the fields.
Anyway, Fran tells the story. It is a very sad story. She interweaves the story with her current life, as an adult trying to locate her siblings, and her miserable childhood.
I finished the book last night. Simply put – an amazing story! Fran found God during her childhood and depended on him to save her and He did. She is a Christian speaker and lives in SC. She has two children of her own.
You should read this book and find out what she discovers when she tries to relocate her siblings. Did she find them?