Book Review: “Broken Ground” By Karen Halvorsen Schreck

May 31, 2016 at 12:36 am | Posted in Books | Leave a comment
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Karen Halvorsen Schreck in her new book, “Broken Ground book coverBroken 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.

You can find “Broken Ground” at a discount at

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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.”

#BrokenGround #KarenHalvorsenSchreck


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