Friday, August 10, 2012

Out of the Dust, by Karen Hesse

By far one of the best books I have ever read.

I am so fascinated by stories of survival.  Although this one is fiction, it is written so well, one forgets that the narrator, if you will, never existed.

It's written in prose; my new favorite form of writing, I've decided.  It's quick to read, keeps you turning pages from the beginning with its realness; and though simple, is full of profound.  It perfectly portrays what life must've been like for those who chose to hang on and keep trying during what I can only imagine to be one of this nation's toughest times.

I would highly recommend it and am going to try to find non-fiction stories of survival from this era.

For those who may never read this, I want to share my favorite part (pages 220-221):

Thanksgiving List

Prairie birds, the whistle of gophers, the wind blowing,
the smell of grass
and spicy earth,
friends like Mad Dong, the cattle down in the river,
water washing over their hooves,
the sky so
big, so full of
shifting clouds,
the cloud shadows creeping
over the fields,
Daddy's smile,
and his laugh,
and his songs,
food without dust,
Daddy seeing to Ma's piano,
newly cleaned and tuned,
the days when my hands don't hurt at all,
the thank-you note from Lucille in Moline, Kansas,
the sound of rain,
Daddy's hole staying full of water
as the windmill turns,
the smell of green,
of damp earth,
of hope returning to our farm.
The poppies set to
bloom on Ma and Franklin's grave,
the morning with the whole day waiting,
full of promise,
the night
of quiet, of no expectations, of rest.
And the certainty of home, the one I live in,
and the one
that lives in me.

November 1935