A GREAT DEPRESSION NOVEL
“We in America today are nearer to the final triumph over poverty than ever before in the history of any land. The poorhouse is vanishing from among us.” ~Herbert Hoover, accepting the Republican presidential nomination. Palo Alto, California, August 1928
Daniel Tomelin, a battle-worn veteran haunted by the carnage of the First World War, deserts his family in the Great Depression and goes on the road seeking work and relief from the nightmares of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
This page-turning tale of courage is set in a tragic era in which hope was sometimes all they had and parallels today’s economic turmoil and unemployment. It’s The Grapes of Wrath from another viewpoint. It’s a wife and mother providing for her children under miserable, heartbreaking circumstances, while her husband tramps around the country playing a banjo, searching for answers to the puzzle of Daniel Tomelin, keeping his hillbilly sense of humor, his humanity, his love of God and nature intact, while deep inside feeling ashamed and unworthy of the family he loves with all his heart. Like scores of other men who abandoned their families during those impoverished years, Daniel’s wounded pride for being unable to care for his wife and children prevents him from going home.
Face the Winter Naked provides an engrossing read in which Turner interweaves history, geography, and a compelling love story. More than that, it is a story that looks beyond the surface, delving into the inner workings of the human mind, a powerful narrative that illuminates larger issues of humanity that are timeless and volatile and just as apropos today as decades ago: War. Political strife. Economic collapse. Environmental catastrophe. Division of families. Cruelty and oppression. Poverty, inequity, and all the faces of prejudice. But it is also about love. And faith. And strength. And hope, forgiveness, and perseverance.
Readers may feel they are traveling with this simple carpenter through the Ozark hills of Missouri as he wears out his cardboard “Hoover” insoles searching for his next meal, an odd job that pays only pennies, or shelter from the dust and sweltering heat that summer of 1932.
But they’ll be glad they’re not.
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