California Ronald B. Taylor Long Road Home

ISBN 13: 9780805006339

Long Road Home

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9780805006339: Long Road Home
From Publishers Weekly:

Refugees in their own land, the Okies, epitomized in Steinbeck's classic The Grapes of Wrath , also receive sympathetic treatment in this sprawling first novel. Forced off their Midwestern farm by the Depression, the Robertson family migrates to the promised land of California's lush San Joaquin Valley. They are unprepared, however, for the degradation they experience at the hands of the wealthy farm cartel. Through the eyes of 16-year-old Jake, pushed prematurely into adulthood, we see the stirrings of revolt, the birthpangs of the Farm Workers Union. Torn between the loyalty of his Bible-governed mother to their benign, non-union-oriented employer, and his awareness of the injustices inflicted by a few ruthless, powerful men, young Jake becomes enmeshed in the violence of the farm workers' strike and its deadly repercussions in his own family. Strong in the central themes of the union's growth and a boy's coming- of-age, the narrative suffers from fragmentary--and unnecessary--subplots; one subsidiary story, involving the mores of a rapacious land titan, simply fades away unresolved. The novel surmounts this flaw, however, and is an engaging and often gripping tale. L.A. journalist Taylor also wrote Chavez and the Farmworkers.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

In this novel of a 1938 farm workers' strike in California's Central Valley, the desperate lives of the Robertson family, migrant Okies from Texas, intersect with that of villainous farmer and pilot Titus Wardlow. Taylor, a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, makes an important part of history come alive and is at his best in describing the various machines that were vital in California's history--cars, planes, guns. His portrait of the single-minded Wardlow and his account of business and political maneuvering are intriguing. However, his writing is often mechanical, and his portrayal of other characters sketchy and stereotypical. John Steinbeck's Tom Joad makes a guest appearance, but his fate, leading a decoy band of strikers into battle, is left unclear. Entertaining if somewhat unsatisfying, this would be a particularly good addition to high school collections.
- Molly McCluer, Alameda Cty. Law Lib., Cal.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Taylor, Ronald B.
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