Read Broken Ground by Karen Halvorsen Schreck Online

broken-ground

When a young oil rig widow escapes her grief and the Texas Dust Bowl, she discovers a surprising future—and new passion—awaiting her in California in this lyrically written romance by the author of Sing for Me.Newly married to her childhood sweetheart, twenty-one-year-old Ruth Warren is settling into life in a Depression-era, East Texas oil town. She’s making a home when sWhen a young oil rig widow escapes her grief and the Texas Dust Bowl, she discovers a surprising future—and new passion—awaiting her in California in this lyrically written romance by the author of Sing for Me.Newly married to her childhood sweetheart, twenty-one-year-old Ruth Warren is settling into life in a Depression-era, East Texas oil town. She’s making a home when she learns that her young husband, Charlie, has been killed in an oil rig accident. Ruth is devastated, but then gets a chance for a fresh start: a scholarship from a college in Pasadena, CA. Ruth decides to take a risk and travel west, to pursue her one remaining dream to become a teacher.At college Ruth tries to fit into campus life, but her grief holds her back. When she spends Christmas with some old family friends, she meets the striking and compelling Thomas Everly, whose own losses and struggles have instilled in him a commitment to social justice, and led him to work with Mexican migrant farmworkers in a camp just east of Los Angeles. With Thomas, Ruth sees another side of town, and another side of current events: the forced deportation of Mexican migrant workers due to the Repatriation Act put into place during President Herbert Hoover’s administration.After Ruth is forced to leave school, she goes to visit Thomas and sees that he has cobbled together a night school for the farmworkers’ children. Ruth begins to work with the children, and establishes deep friendships with people in the camp. When the camp is raided and the workers and their families are rounded up and shipped back to Mexico, Ruth and Thomas decide to take a stand for the workers’ rights—all while promising to love and cherish one another....

Title : Broken Ground
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781476794839
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 336 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Broken Ground Reviews

  • Julie Christine
    2018-12-13 06:56

    A lovely, empathetic novel set in Depression-era Oklahoma and California. With a gently lyrical style, Karen Halvorsen Schreck takes us along the journey of healing, redemption, and self-discovery of a young widow, Ruth, as she finds her way in an America coated with dust and fear. Ruth makes her way to a university in southern California, her new life provided for by the grace of a full scholarship at a time when higher education for women usually a gateway into marriage. For Ruth, it is a gateway to the reality that others may face difficulties at least as devastating as her own grief. Schreck opens her character and her readers to the terrible history of repatriation of Mexican nationals and in this story, the very present reality of our current political culture is thrown into heartrending relief. We project the same irrational fear and anger against "the other" today as Ruth's America did eighty years ago. A delightful, illuminating read. My thanks to the publisher for providing a copy of Broken Ground for review.

  • Beth
    2018-11-22 04:13

    Karen Halvorsen Schreck is a new author for me, but now that I’ve read Broken Ground, I will definitely be on the lookout for her previous releases and any to come. Compelling historical events and a lyrical, flowing writing style make for one engaging story. The author brought together my favorite two things about historical fiction – a basis in true events and an endearing, empathetic main character. Ruth Warren’s first person narration is lovely, and she is one of my favorite characters that I’ve “met” this year. Her voice is strong and feels authentic. I felt her joys and pains as she experienced them. This is not a book to breeze through in a day, but rather one to savor. Ruth’s story will certainly be sticking with me for a long time.The repatriation of Mexican migrant workers in the 1930s is not something that I’ve ever read about before. Honestly, when I come across a book like this, I am almost alarmed at my lack of knowledge. I feel that sometimes more unsavory things like this are overlooked, rather than looked at and learned from – the illegal removal of Mexican immigrants, regardless of whether they were in the country illegally or not, is entirely relatable and timely for today. I applaud the author for taking on this subject. She handles these historical events with aplomb and clarity, and I never felt like there was a certain agenda being pushed upon the reader. She also writes in a thoughtful way about Mexican culture; no character comes across a stereotype, but rather feels authentic throughout the novel.There is a natural ease in the way that the faith element is presented in the story. While it perhaps might feel understated to some readers, I thought it fit well into the story. Ruth and Thomas portray what it means to live out the concept of treating others how you want to be treated, their actions matching the convictions of their faith. This story evokes self-reflection, of both convictions and actions, specifically, of how well those convictions are acted out. Other than their strong convictions, I most appreciated how the story was focused on the plot and the historical significance of the time and not romance. The romantic elements present are lovely and tender, but do not overwhelm the narrative in any way.A novel that evokes empathy and turns from narrative to inward reflection is a strong one for me. Broken Ground will both challenge and engage readers with a strong storyline and honest characters. I highly recommend this unique, engrossing and eye-opening novel.This review first appeared on Straight Off the Page. I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. The opinions expressed here are my own.

  • Katie
    2018-12-01 06:13

    I read this book over several settings, trying to absorb the lyrical writing and the depth of the story. Broken Ground is an entrancing story with memorable and well rounded chsracters. Even the side characters were fleshed out. Of the many atrocities the American government has foisted on various people groups, I have been ignorant of the Mexican deportation during the 30s. But while reading this, I saw so many parallels to 2016. Immigration, deportation, jobs, economy depression, etc. This book is sticking with me for a while. It's not a fast read, but it's a worthwhile read.Thanks to Netgalley and publishers for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

  • Jeanne
    2018-12-10 03:07

    Set during the 1930s Depression in the East Texas oil fields and the farmlands of southern California, Broken Ground is the poignant story of a young woman's awakening to a world greater than herself. Ruth Warren is still a newlywed when her husband Charlie is killed in an oil drilling accident. Given the choice to move home and live with her religious and critical parents or to accept a scholarship to a college in California, Ruth opts for college and the opportunity to become a teacher. Ruth soon becomes immersed in academic life and accepts a position as an assistant for a renowned professor at the college. But her trust is violently betrayed, and in the aftermath, Ruth loses her scholarship and must leave the school. Ruth seeks refuge with a family friend who works with the Mexican immigrants in the farm camps. Once again, Ruth must find her way and purpose.Ruth studies to become a teacher, but this is really a story about Ruth's education, as she moves from naive bride to college student to a student of a foreign (to her) culture. As we travel with Ruth on her journey, we are educated as well about the struggles of the Mexican farm workers in 1930s California, and it is striking to see how relevant these struggles are to the current immigration issues.Schreck's elegant and lyrical prose accurately captures the Depression era with her vivid descriptions, her complex characters, and her compassionate understanding of the economic and racial tensions that strain the resources of the communities Ruth inhabits.This is my first exposure to Karen Halvorsen Schreck's writing, but it won't be my last. Broken Ground is a compelling and unforgettable read.I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review.

  • Karen
    2018-12-03 02:59

    The compelling story of a young woman's life during the Great Depression! Told from Ruth's perspective as she experiences both terrible tragedy and hard won triumphs, the author gives a glimpse of the difficulties that many people shared during the time. Well-written with a variety of characters, it's easy to get lost in the era and get a real sense of the hardships, prejudice, and edge of the seat living of those who migrated to California, hoping for work and a better life. The author does a good job of conveying what Ruth is thinking and feeling, as she tries to make sense of her life. I could relate to the confusion and strong sense of injustice she felt, especially in the mistreatment of farm laborers. The bonds of friendships, faith, family and love woven into Ruth's story added the much needed message of hope to the difficulties she faced. Thomas Everly's character grew on me, especially after reading more of his background in the prequel, Good Harvest; he overcame a lot of his own personal prejudice and bitterness to become a better man. He was an admirable struggling hero, a real champion for the people he lived among and served. Their story stuck with me for a long time and made me think.I was especially interested in reading this book when I saw how it crisscrossed my own family's history. It made the story feel that much more personal to me and was easy to picture the areas described. The struggles for better living conditions and the humane treatment of farm laborers was a hot issue even into the next generation. It was an eye opener to realize just how bad it was for them all in the 1930's. I gained a new respect for all the different people who lived out the real story. Recommend to readers who enjoy historical fiction with a bit more realism. The prequel Good Harvest was helpful to read also to understand more of Thomas Everly's backstory. (Warning for sensitive readers, includes a little swearing and violence.) 4.5 stars(Book provided by NetGalley and publisher in exchange for my honest, original review.)

  • Lauren
    2018-11-23 03:52

    rig widow escapes her grief and the Texas Dust Bowl, she discovers a surprising future—and new passion—awaiting her in California in this lyrically written romance by the author of Sing for Me.Newly married to her childhood sweetheart, twenty-one-year-old Ruth Warren is settling into life in a Depression-era, East Texas oil town. She’s making a home when she learns that her young husband, Charlie, has been killed in an oil rig accident. Ruth is devastated, but then gets a chance for a fresh start: a scholarship from a college in Pasadena, CA. Ruth decides to take a risk and travel west, to pursue her one remaining dream to become a teacher.At college Ruth tries to fit into campus life, but her grief holds her back. When she spends Christmas with some old family friends, she meets the striking and compelling Thomas Everly, whose own losses and struggles have instilled in him a commitment to social justice, and led him to work with Mexican migrant farmworkers in a camp just east of Los Angeles. With Thomas, Ruth sees another side of town, and another side of current events: the forced deportation of Mexican migrant workers due to the Repatriation Act put into place during President Herbert Hoover’s administration.After Ruth is forced to leave school, she goes to visit Thomas and sees that he has cobbled together a night school for the farmworkers’ children. Ruth begins to work with the children, and establishes deep friendships with people in the camp. When the camp is raided and the workers and their families are rounded up and shipped back to Mexico, Ruth and Thomas decide to take a stand for the workers’ rights—all while promising to love and cherish one another.SO.... That pretty much told you all that happened. But you don't get the feelings from it!Ruth and Charlie were deeply in love. They grew up together and hoped to grow old together. There home was a place to dream and live with hope. Even the little girl that lived next door believed this. Ruth taught her so much in a short little time, and will never forget her.When Charlie died, Ruth was completely lost. He was her entire life, all of her hopes and dreams had Charlie in them. Without her loving husband what would she do? Well, I can tell ya, with her friend from the library she isn't just going to stay at home with her parents and not reach for her dreams.Ruth is scared to death and excited when she heads off to collage(who wouldn't be?). There she meets another great friend, and Ruth learns a lot more about how other people live. While at collage she becomes an intern for one of her teachers. He's a sleazy, creepy, horrible teacher in my opinion. But...she does learn a lot. Her dream of teaching gets stronger and closer to becoming true! Until she is assaulted and kicked out of school. Mainly because she was a pretty woman and not a floozy!After Ruth meets back up with Thomas everything changes. Her dreams are once again going to become true. She is going to be helping to teach the kids at the migrant workers camp. This at first kind of worried me, I mean come on, she speaks no Spanish!! Thankfully she had made more friends in the camp, and was learning their language.I feel I am now going off topic but you need to read this book. Its not just about a woman losing her husband, but also a woman finding herself. Reaching for goals and dreams and a life she wants after being torn down so far. Its about compassion, friendship, longing, and relationships in general. Its about fighting for what you believe in, and taking up for the underdogs. Its about learning and loving, no matter the race. Most importantly I believe it's about the way people are treated!!! What ever happened to 'Treat others the way you want to be treated?' (Now I'm really getting off topic.)I've cried, laughed, and cheered throughout Broken Ground. I'm just going to say it: I don't care what kind of books you life or don't like. If you only read one other book this whole year (other than your Bible) read this one! Trust me its worth it!

  • Barb Klein
    2018-12-17 05:13

    “Broken Ground” by Karen Halvorsen Schreck is a novel of the Depression. Ruth’s family is not a happy one. Her mother is beaten down by her tyrant of a father as are the rest of the family. Ruth marries her sweetheart and they begin life together in the Texas oil fields. Her father has disowned her for marrying and depriving him of the money she would have eared. Life for Ruth and Charlie is good. Then Ruth gets the news that Charlie has been killed in a well blow-out. She goes back home only to find that nothing has changed. When she gets a chance to go to college to become a teacher, she takes that means of escape and travels to California to accept her scholarship. When she is forced to leave the university because of the actions of one of her professors, she calls Thomas, the son of her mother’s friends. In California during the Depression, Mexican migrant workers are not welcome. The government, in order to save the existing jobs for Americans, resorts to repatriating the Mexican workers and their families. Not only that, but they burn down their poor shacks so that there is nothing to return to. Thomas is very involved in trying to help these people. The love of his life has been taken along with her family back to Mexico. He is searching for her all the while trying to help these poor people. Ruth takes up his cause and begins to care for Thomas. I thought that this story actually could have been written about what is happening in our country right now. That was very interesting to me, to think that things really haven’t changed in decades. There will always be struggles between different cultures and the tensions that result from that. I was sent a print copy of this book by Howard Publishers in return for my honest review. You can find this review on my blog at http://wp.me/p2pjIt-kH, and other reviews on my blog at http://imhookedonbooks.wordpress.com.

  • Cheryl pdx
    2018-12-16 06:00

    Reading Broken Ground was like climbing onto a smooth-moving train as it carried me through a journey of time, people and places. In both Broken Ground and in her previous novel, Sing for Me, Halvorsen Schreck demonstrates her gift of crafting emotionally complex characters who work to navigate societies’ roadblocks. As a reader I felt the rise and fall of emotions along with Broken Ground’s central characters. Ruth Warren and Thomas Everly are each outsiders in their own ways: it’s the 1930s and neither the young, newly widowed Ruth nor Thomas who loved a woman named Lupita, fit in. Both are in search of a larger Truth and I experienced their pain and joy as I accompanied them in their respective journeys. I didn’t know anything about how the US repatriated Mexican Americans in the 1930s but it is sobering to hear echoes of those same sentiments in the US today. Broken Ground is more than timely.

  • Amber
    2018-11-26 09:53

    I received this book through a first-reads giveaway. I want more. This book started out a little slow for me, but once it picked up, I was hooked. I admire Ruth and what life throws at her. And I love how, even though it's not the popular opinion, she makes choices because of her learning and opening up her mind. We should all live like that. The closer I got to the end of the book, the more worried I got because how was this all going to get wrapped up? Then I saw it's a part of a series, so hopefully all will continue to develop and we won't be left hanging at the end. Until then, I'll wait patiently and pass this along to my mother as I know she'll enjoy it, too. :)

  • Renee Rosen
    2018-12-05 09:53

    I first discovered Karen Halvorsen Schreck with her previous novel SING FOR ME and I was hooked. She is a beautiful writer who has a gift for gorgeous prose and the ability to render characters so real and memorable they practically leap off the page. Though this is a work of historical fiction you will find her themes just as relevant and timely today.

  • Leslie M.
    2018-12-14 04:21

    You can read my review in the May 2016 issue of RT Bookreviews Magazine.

  • Victor Gentile
    2018-12-12 07:02

    Karen Halvorsen Schreck in her new book, “Broken Ground” published by Howard Books introduces us to Ruth Warren.From the back cover: When a young oil rig widow escapes her grief and the Texas Dust Bowl, she discovers a surprising future—and new passion—awaiting her in California.Newly married to her childhood sweetheart, twenty-one-year-old Ruth Warren is settling into life in a Depression-era, East Texas oil town. She’s making a home when she learns that her young husband, Charlie, has been killed in an oil rig accident. Ruth is devastated, but then gets a chance for a fresh start: a scholarship from a college in Pasadena, CA. Ruth decides to take a risk and travel west, to pursue her one remaining dream to become a teacher.At college Ruth tries to fit into campus life, but her grief holds her back. When she spends Christmas with some old family friends, she meets the striking and compelling Thomas Everly, whose own losses and struggles have instilled in him a commitment to social justice, and led him to work with Mexican migrant farmworkers in a camp just east of Los Angeles. With Thomas, Ruth sees another side of town, and another side of current events: the numerous forced deportations without due process of Mexicans, along with United States citizens of Mexican descent.After Ruth is forced to leave school, she goes to visit Thomas and sees that he has cobbled together a night school for the farmworkers’ children. Ruth begins to work with the children, and establishes deep friendships with people in the camp. When the camp is raided and the workers and their families are rounded up and shipped back to Mexico, Ruth and Thomas decide to take a stand for the workers’ rights—all while promising to love and cherish one another.Ms. Schreck has given us historical fiction at its finest. The plot of the story centers around the Mexican Repatriation—an event in history that is not well-known. Ms. Schreck starts us in 1934 and takes us through 1935 and every single minute of it is interesting to say the least. Let me assure you once you get started you are not going to want to be interrupted. Ms. Schreck has set it up so that you are captured from the first page and she doesn’t let go until the last. Ruth and Thomas are absolutely fascinating characters that draw you into their lives and you want to hang out with them and see what they are going to do. Ms. Schreck has given us a wonderfully engaging story.Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Howard Books. 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: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

  • Kathleen (Kat) Smith
    2018-12-04 04:54

    I can't imagine trying to find a way to start all over again. To pick up the shattered pieces of your life and move forward. To know that while your parents might mean well, they don't know what it means to you to put your grief aside and make a fresh start even though you don't know the outcome. That is the thoughts and emotions of twenty-one-year old Ruth Warren who married the absolute love of her life, Charlie and settled in for a life despite the hardships of the Texas Dust bowl. Charlie works for the oil company and when an accident one day robs her of any future and family, Ruth falls into despair. Most of the men living in the small town have also been a victim of that explosion and now all the families are packing up and headed west for new promises that they have heard of in California. All Ruth has even wanted beside love, is to learn. Learn things she has been told a woman shouldn't learn or told they don't pertain to her. So when she moves back home at the insistence of her parents, she takes up venturing back to her favorite place the library. She is immediately consoled by her favorite librarian who offers her a chance at a fresh start when the college applications she and Charlie had filled out, come back with full scholarships and a chance at a new future in Pasadena, California. The only issue is telling her parents. As Ruth heads out to Pasadena she has her first experience in Union Station at discrimination and the way Mexicans are being placed on a train to be deported back to Mexico. It is when she takes her education to an entirely new level the more she learns about what is happening to those around her who have little say in what is happening and she finds a likely ally in Thomas Everly who will inspire her to new heights of hope not only in the lives of those she is helping but in her own life as well. I received Broken Ground by Karen Halvorsen Schreck compliments of Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation aside from a free copy of this novel in exchange for my honest and personal evaluation. I love it when you find a great novel that tackles subjects from history that may have been briefly touched on, but are missing from our history books as of late. The author note at the end of the novel shares Karen's personal journey of how this novel evolved from one thing and arrived at the novel it is today. I would rate this one a 4 out of 5 stars.

  • Lisa Johnson
    2018-12-18 04:09

    Title: Broken Ground Author: Karen Halvorsen ShreckPages: 336Year: 2016Publisher: HowardMy rating is 5 stars.When you read the synopsis, it might appear as if the novel would focus on the Dust Bowl in Texas, but it really is about one central character named Ruth. Ruth at one time was married to her childhood sweetheart, finding joy even amid very harsh elements and times. When life throws her into turmoil, she is forced to return home with her parents. Ruth’s father is a very dominant and devious man who cares not one whit for Ruth.Ruth’s solace is the local library where she can read, learn as well as learning from the head librarian herself. When Ruth gets an opportunity to go to college, she goes until that too is ripped away from her. Through all her trials it seems as though Ruth matures and embraces life again after her grief lifts.Ruth’s father and his church put forth a very rigid religion that makes life difficult for Ruth. Finally, Ruth ends up in a place where her heart begins to grasp both the good and evil that happens in this world. I really found the tale taking me places in my imagination I had no idea it would go or think about such things such as rounding up people of certain ethnicity and deporting them whether they were citizens of America or not.The ending was very touching as was the whole story. I am not sure one can read a novel such as this and not be left thinking of our nation’s history and the acts of that time as ordered by the President. I grew to dislike a lot of the farm owners in the way they used people and discarded them without any care whatsoever. In the end, I think the point I came away with is to face life head on as running away doesn’t change a thing. The other point I came away with is the peace and hope in a relationship with the Lord can bring us nothing else the world might.Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

  • Sally
    2018-11-19 07:00

    I am an immigrant to the United States. I became a naturalized citizen in 2010. I say this because my experience has influenced my opinions on the subject and, particularly, on migrants across the country’s southern border. I had a feeling that Broken Ground might take me out of my comfort zone and test some of those opinions. Since I’d enjoyed Schreck’s previous novel, Sing for Me, I decided I would give this novel a go.I’m glad that I did. Once again, Schreck has created a thought-provoking work about social differences in 20th century America. The book’s first chapter describes the stark reality of Ruth’s life living with her husband on the Texan oil fields. They are poor and have little more than a shack, but they love each other and dream of a better life. The entire narrative is written in the present tense and in the first person, which means we experience everything the same time as Ruth does. It was difficult to read this part because I knew what was coming and Ruth sounded so happy. When everything changed, we’re plunged into Ruth’s grief. Ruth’s experiences take the reader on a roller coaster ride of emotions as she journeys from Texas to California via Oklahoma and goes from being a wife to a widow to a student to an activist. There’s sadness, shock, disappointment, and anger, but there are also sweet moments of joy.This is an aspect of American history I had previously known nothing about. There’s no ‘right’ or ‘left’ to what happened; these acts took place during both the Hoover and Roosevelt administrations. I was stunned by the knowledge that even American citizens were sent to a country they didn’t know if they couldn’t provide paperwork. Sometimes, it didn’t even matter if they had the correct papers. Today, it’s easy to see the attitudes of some of the characters are racist and chauvinistic but these were considered normal during the 1930s. There’s no happy ending to Broken Ground either. Actually, the ending is rather ambiguous with elements of despair and hope. But it’s an incredible novel, and one that I’m sure I’ll be thinking about long after posting this review.Thank you to Howard Books for my complimentary copy of Broken Ground, which I received in exchange for my honest review.

  • Fiction Aficionado
    2018-11-18 10:15

    From the very first sentence of this book, I was drawn into Ruth’s world: the joy of being newly married to Charlie, living in their own little oil-camp tent house. Theirs is a life of hardship – a slim pantry, well-worn clothes, and hand-me-down furniture; a husband who spends his days as a driller on an East Texas oil field, and is already beginning to suffer the associated hearing loss. But as far as Ruth is concerned, even John D. Rockefeller couldn’t be happier. After all, he doesn’t have Charlie in his life. And then, in one moment, Charlie is gone. Forever.Set against the backdrop of the racial and economic tensions of the 1930s, Broken Ground is an evocative and poignant story of a young woman’s journey from heartbreak to embracing life - for better or worse. The book’s description pretty much summarises the entire story, so I will not add to it here. What I will say is that Karen Halvorsen Schreck has penned a well-crafted story – economical, and yet lyrical in its prose, and perfectly capturing the essence of the era, the setting, the racial and economic tensions, and of course, Ruth’s physical and emotional journey. There are many who share in Ruth’s journey: Helen, her roommate at college; Silvia and Luis, a young Mexican couple living in Kirk Camp, a Mexican migrant camp east of Los Angeles; Daniel, a troubled young Mexican boy; and Thomas Everly: by day, overseer at Kirk Camp, and by night, teacher to the Mexican children of Kirk Camp. She begins to learn the unofficial story of the migrant communities: raided, corralled, and exported, like so much cattle. Through it all, she gains a deeper appreciation for the gift of life, both its beauty and its brokenness, and for the privileges that are hers: freedom, education; privileges that are often taken for granted, even today. A thoughtful and engaging read.I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

  • Carla Stewart
    2018-12-06 09:05

    I have a fascination for the Depression era—the hard scrabble life and the perseverance of those who lived in that era—so my friend Karen Halvorsen Schreck’s new novel, BROKEN GROUND, was of immediate interest to me. An added bonus was that the beginning of the book is set in Oklahoma and Texas, both states I’ve called home. I was immediately drawn in to the warmth of Ruth Warren’s character and the sting of being widowed while still a newlywed. Aided by a friend, she is able to attend college in California on a scholarship. There a different tragedy awaits her, and she has to leave school, but while still considering her options, she meets Thomas Everly, the son of a family friend. Curious about his work with children in a migrant camp and needing time to heal from her own wounded life, she visits and is drawn into the plight of the Mexican workers there who are being deported. While the plot of the story centers around the Mexican Repatriation—an event in history that is not well known—the characters are what bring resonance and life to this lovely, lyrically-penned novel. Friendships matter. People matter. Love can grow out of shared passion. Karen’s ability to write about gritty subjects with grace is a rare talent. BROKEN GROUND is a beautifully written book that will stay with you long after the last page. Highly recommended for those who love historical fiction and strong stories of love and friendship. I received this book from the publisher for my honest review. ~ Carla Stewart, award-winning author of Stardust and A Flying Affair

  • Tiffany
    2018-12-06 03:01

    Broken Ground is a luminous love story working in and through the tumultuous 1930s--dustbowl and repatriation of Mexican workers and American workers of Mexican descent. Ruth's curious, sensitive, generous melancholy attunes her to the sufferings of others--a white woman's coming to knowledge through faith and coming to respond by the same means. No white savior, Ruth's as broken as the American landscape, and her broken ground becomes a place of fruitfulness where love grows. My favorite part was when, at a college football game, an incident of injustice toward children of Mexican descent bewilders her into trying to learn--and she finds out just how protected some kinds of knowledge can be: I flip through the Rs, searching for repatriation. There's nothing. From what the card catalog suggests, the word doesn't even exist in the English language. I shut the drawer. How do you say repatriation in Spanish? I wonder. When I check, I see the library doesn't have newspapers for Spanish speakers. I couldn't read Spanish anyway, an I know no one who can translate for me. So what does that leave me with? What other words should I find in the card catalog? California? Mexico? Mother country? Perhaps. But how do I find little boy, lost. Ruth's brokenness gets her there--to the language, the learning, the leaning, and ultimately, to love.

  • Nancee
    2018-11-23 03:05

    In the mid-1930s newlyweds, Ruth and Charlie have just begun their lives together. Tragedy takes Charlie's life, leaving Ruth lost and alone, forced to make significant changes that will pattern her future. The author has created strong characters who traverse considerable misfortune and conflict. The plot moves at a steady pace and is unpredictable. Unexpected circumstances unfold as Ruth journeys through difficult times in her personal life, and the lives of those who affect her deeply.The Mexican Repatriation becomes the focus as Ruth becomes involved with children and families whose very existence is questionable. At this point in the story the prejudices and appalling treatment of migrant workers is well documented and powerful. A great deal of research has brought to life the events surrounding the deportation of a people whose Mexican descent is more powerful than the citizenship papers and work papers they hold. Broken Ground is written with knowledge and passion, and the author is effective at projecting the atrocities of the human condition. I highly recommend this novel for the honest approach to shocking realities.Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Howard Books and Wynn-Wynn Media in exchange for my honest review. All expressed opinions are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.

  • Debbi DuBose
    2018-12-06 03:19

    I won Broken Ground through a Goodreads Giveaway and the following is my honest opinion of this novel by Karen Halvorsen Schreck. This will definitely be one of my favorite books of the year. I have not been able to stop thinking about it since I finished it. Broken Ground is such a hauntingly realistic and well written historical story. It is set in the 1930's in southern California. The Hoover administration began a program of "repatriation" to send the migrant farm workers back to Mexico. Most of these Mexican people were USA citizens. Many of their ancestors had been living on this land since before it became a US state. The two main characters, Ruth and Thomas, find love amidst the hardships of trying to help these people. They have both come to care deeply for and to respect their Mexican friends and neighbors. This is a must read novel that is so relevant to today's America! Broken Ground is a thoughtful and compelling novel and you will never forget it!

  • Sherrie
    2018-11-23 02:57

    Karen Halvorsen-Schreck loves her protagonist, Ruth Warren. That is what I felt while reading Karen's latest book, "Broken Ground." She writes of Ruth's inner and outer life with great honesty and grace, following Ruth's path from a loss and deep grief, through the confines of her family life to pursue an education out West. Karen writes of Ruth's life while addressing the larger issues of the 1930s that still haunt us today: forced deportations of U.S. farm-workers with Mexican heritage; blatant and subtle racism; white privilege; and the silencing of women in the face of abuse. Halvorsen-Schreck guides us through a journey of such "broken ground" while rendering a wholeness and love that will remain with me. Thank you for such a beautiful read.

  • Jenee Rager
    2018-12-02 07:20

    Broken Ground is a bait and switch of the best kind. When I first read the description I thought it was going to be a light little romance novel. Not that there is anything wrong with romance novels, but that genre may turn off a lot of potential readers who would enjoy this book.Instead of a romance novel, what I got from reading was a very nice outing about reparations, and classism during the Great Depression. Karen Halvorsen Shreck managed to really get you feeling for the characters, and their plight without being heavy handed. There is also an attempted rape scene in the novel that allows the story to touch briefly, but poignantly on sexism.The story is simple, but well written and I truly enjoyed it.I won this book from goodreads in exchange for an honest review.

  • (not your)
    2018-12-04 06:57

    Ruth Warren lives in a difficult era and has more than her share of tragedy. After the loss of her young husband, Ruth goes on to pursue her dream of becoming a teacher. However, college is fraught with unseen dangers of its own and once again Ruth finds herself navigating the waters of a new environment and this time she must make allegiances and choices upon which lives may depend. I love historical fiction and Schreck is a master. With interesting and memorable characters, Schreck delves into the injustice of the Great Westward Migration that is often ignored. This story has engaging depth and heft, without creeping into the morose and haranguing.

  • Cheryl D
    2018-12-11 06:58

    I took an especially long time to read this book so I could savor every page, every sentence and every word. The writing is exquisite and the story compelling when one considers the anti-immigration sentiments that appear to have sadly entered our political discourse in the past year. Women coming of age and learning to stand up for themselves, racism, grief, and deportation are just some of the important topics this book covers with ease and a style of writing that lends itself to tell a great story without being at all preachy. I loved the main character Ruth Warren. Such an inspiration even if she is fictional. This is one book you are going to love to read!

  • Amy
    2018-12-09 02:07

    Broken Ground is the first book I have read by this author. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It involves the deportations of Mexicans during the 1930s. It's definitely material I have never read before and I found it refreshing to read something new.Highly recommended.5 plus stars.I received this book from Howard Books in exchange for my honest exchange which was given.

  • Lisa
    2018-11-24 09:58

    I love books that engage you in the story while also educating. Broken Ground hooks you from the beginning into Ruth's story as a good-hearted young widow, but then takes you far from home as you learn what it is like to be an immigrant farm worker in California. Well done!

  • Jenny Q
    2018-11-25 02:03

    Giveaway @ Let Them Read Books!

  • Jamie Holloway
    2018-12-15 04:52

    Enjoyable... I will be posting my review next week.

  • Micah
    2018-12-08 03:11

    As an immigrant myself, I found this book to be a challenge as it only showed one side of the story. I have been through the legal immigration process, which was costly, hard, and something I do not take for granted. For every illegal immigrant, there is a legal immigrant whose story is never told. This book attempts to dive into a dark period in history without honoring the why behind the laws that were made regarding immigration. Why should a person honor the laws of a land? This book was quite insufficient and disappointing in its dishonor of the legal implications of immigration. As an avid reader, I found the first half of the book to be quite enjoyable. I liked Ruth and the start of her journey, but by the end, it felt like she had changed so much that it was no longer believable. From the second half of the story to the end, things just became disjointed, without conclusion, and just too emotional. What happened to Helen, Ruth's parents, and all that had been important to her? Not a satisfying end at all.

  • Anna Fishel
    2018-11-26 05:52

    Given the state of affairs in the U.S., this is worth reading and thought provoking. The following quote is prophetic:"We are what many call “Americans,” at the expense of so many others who are called otherwise. Just look at the world around us, palm trees, and fruit trees, and flowers. A Golden Land, tarnished for me now. Look at it long enough and the black fog will soon cover it."