What an interesting book this was, so moving, so gritty (pun intended) so grim.
It is 1920s America in the Texas Panhandle. Protagonist Elsa lives with abusive parents who demean everything she does. One day, she goes for a walk (late at night) and meets a young man…
Of course, her life changes forever. Elsa finds a home in a kind family of Italian-Americans. She brings her children up on a farm, learning to make delicious Italian food. Everything goes well for 14 years, until the dust storms arise.
In compelling prose, Ms. Hannah delineates the shame and humiliation of being dirt poor, so poor that it is indeed very difficult to get clean, especially in the midst of a storm when all the topsoil from the middle west gusts into your back yard.
If you have not yet read this novel, you are in for a treat. Five stars.