Title: A Room of My Own
Author: Ann Tatlock
Major Themes: Great Depression, Labor Unions, Christian Fiction
Synopsis: Even though her father is a doctor and the family is well-to-do, Virginia’s life changes forever during the Great Depression when she starts helping her father care for people in a Hooverville and her uncle is involved in a worker’s strike at the local mill.
I was talking to my mother on the phone one day, and as sometimes happens, we were talking about books. She mentioned having purchased a book to give to my niece after reading it on her Kindle, and talked about how good it was. I was intrigued—and then found it on my own Kindle, waiting to be read! That helped me make the decision to read A Room of My Own next—after all, if your mother recommends a book, it’s likely quite good, right?
Virginia was 13 the summer that her life changed forever. She and her best friend Charlotte loved to spend their spare time dressing up and dreaming about their honeymoons. However, the afternoon that a stranger appeared at the door and asked Virginia’s father, a doctor, to come attend a man who was badly hurt, the reality of the times suddenly forced its way into her consciousness. The man who was hurt was in Soo City, a Hooverville—built right beside their town—with over a hundred people living in shacks along the railroad tracks. How would this affect Ginny, though?
Soon, the Depression forced its way even farther into her life. Her uncle lost his job at the local grain mill and his family was forced to move in with Ginny’s family. She had to give up her room to her uncle and aunt. Then, the workers at the mill struck for better pay, and the violence of the strike affected the entire family. Worse was to come, however, when Soo City was destroyed and Papa was badly hurt trying to help the people. Ginny’s life would never be the same again—would she change for the better or the worse?
A Room of My Own is an incredible story. It really brings the Depression to life. The characters in this book are so real. I could hardly put the book down; I just wanted to keep turning pages to see what happened next. One thing I really liked about it was the lack of romance! It was very refreshing to read a book written for adults without a smidgen of romance in it. I would have no problem letting my teenagers read this book. There are some powerful lessons in it about trusting God and loving people.
WARNING: Chapter 3 uses the words Oh, gosh twice and gee twice. Chapter 11 uses darn twice.
Reading Independently—Ages 15 and Above, Adults