Cruel Harvest: A Memoir

Fran Elizabeth Grubb, Author, Bryan Reardon, Author
Fran Grubb with Bryan Reardon. Thomas Nelson, $22.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-59555-505-2
Reviewed on: 06/11/2012
Release date: 08/01/2012
Compact Disc - 978-1-61375-132-9
Compact Disc - 978-1-60981-487-8
Downloadable Audio - 1 pages - 978-1-62188-067-7
Open Ebook - 272 pages - 978-1-59555-506-9
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Grubb's memoir recounts her train crash of a childhood, a story that seizes the reader's attention the same way a roadside accident does. The ultimate meaning of what is beheld remains murky, although Grubb says she wrote her story because "it's the beginning of healing for others." Born in 1949 to a monstrous alcoholic father and a beaten-up, beaten-down mother, Grubb loved Mama but came to hate Daddy (the name clanks, just as it does in Sylvia Plath's poem "Daddy") and to detest herself for it. He abused her and her sisters (he killed one) and sold her brother; he forced them into labor as unschooled migrants and guzzled their earnings. Grubb lightens these travails with words of faith and desperate prayers and with chapters of reunions with her lost siblings. She states facts without analysis; the chapter on forgiving her despotic father is shallow, a lesson little understood. She breaks the cardinal writers' rule by telling more than showing, and unintended bad grammar and poor editing spoil her memoir. Still, the reader can't look away. (Aug. 14)
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