I saw the brown film as it coated their table, marking the lines where the cloth had been laid. They tried to cover their dishes that held their merger dinner which mother had prepared. The family had rushed to cover their meal as they heard the wind picking up and they knew they had to quickly stuff the wet cloths under the doors and along the windows before the panes started to knock and the air inside their quiet home would become hazy. It had not always been this way, when Annie and Samuel came to Mulehead, the beginning years there had been rain and crops were plentiful but now, life in Oklahoma was not for everyone. In fact, people were leaving almost every day for it was easier to just leave and start fresh somewhere else. I felt the desperation of Annie and her family and the folks around town. I, in fact don’t know if I could have stayed in Mulehead or if I would have been one of the individuals selling off my cattle and heading for greener fields. There was pride, hope and determination that had to be considered when they looked into their future. Samuel was having dreams or were they actual visions that Samuel was having, either way, Samuel put great thought into them. These gave him something to do and gave him a purpose to keep going. As his fields were falling into desperate times, Samuel and his son Fred were bonding and building hope. His wife, Annie was also looking for hope and she thought she had found it. She realized that to obtain the hope that she was searching for, it would come at a great cost, would she be willing to pay it? Their daughter Birdie was 15 and she knew all about life, or at least she thought she did. She was willing to take chances but taking chances sometimes doesn’t always work to your advantage.
I really enjoyed this novel. It wasn’t a high energy novel but there was enough drama to keep this novel moving forward and I became a part of this family. I loved this family, their own quirks, their problems and how they interacted with the world around them. I got to know others in their community and I enjoyed being a part of this community. The author did a fantastic job portraying this time in history as she tries to show us many different angles: the stress, the helplessness and the positive side that came from the dust that shook these individuals’ lives.