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 in this lyrically written romance by
the author of SING FOR ME.
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 forced deportation of Mexican migrant
due to the Repatriation Act put into place during President
Herbert Hoover’s administration.
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
take a stand for the workers’ rights—all while promising to
love and cherish one another.