cover image Broken Ground

Broken Ground

Karen Halvorsen Schreck. Howard, $14.99 trade paper (322p) ISBN 978-1-4767-9483-9

Readers interested in immigration issues and U.S. history will discover much to enjoy in Schreck's well-written, lyric novel. Ruth and Charlie Warren are happy newlyweds in the Depression-era East Texas oil fields until Charlie's unexpected death in a freak oil rig accident. Rather than return to her parents permanently, Ruth accepts a scholarship to Union University in faraway California. Her time there is cut short after she loses her scholarship, so Ruth moves to Kirk Camp, a barrio for Mexican farm workers who flock to the U.S. for jobs, and becomes a teacher. Ruth's heart begins to heal as her affection grows for her host, Silvia Morales; the camp children she teaches; and her new friend, Thomas Everly. Schreck reveals a little-known chapter in U.S. relations with our Mexican neighbors, some of it inspiring and much of it shocking. Readers will love Ruth's stamina and heart, and come away with a new understanding of immigrant experiences both then and now. Agent: Sandra Bishop, Transatlantic Agency. (May)