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Cruel Harvest: A Memoir

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

This is a story of survival written by a child who grew up a lot

This is a story of survival written by a child who grew up a lot faster than a child should and experienced the raw and cruel face of life like few people do. It is a sad and hopeful story and I feel like words can’t do it justice.

I loved it, it is a story that ...
This is a story of survival written by a child who grew up a lot faster than a child should and experienced the raw and cruel face of life like few people do. It is a sad and hopeful story and I feel like words can’t do it justice.

I loved it, it is a story that shocks and terrifies but I loved how in the end Love always finds a way to give hope and restoration to a broken and lost soul, and that’s exactly what this book is about. I admire and truly appreciate the author’s courage to open up with her life story, I can only imagine how hard that must have been.

What I liked the most about this book is that in the middle of the terrifying pages of it you can find little pieces of hope and prayers of a child who knew, in the middle of life’s darkest circumstances, in her heart that there was a God somewhere, a good, caring and loving God:
:: She assured me that one day I would learn to read. Until then, I could make up words that were good and pretend I was talking to God. So I read what I thought the page would say. “God is with me every day,” I read. “I am not alone. God knows who I am and He cares when I am hungry or afraid. God looks down from heaven and He sees all the children who need Him.”::

posted by BiancaTCBT on August 1, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Cruel Harvest: A Memoir by Fran Elizabeth Grubb, is a true graph

Cruel Harvest: A Memoir by Fran Elizabeth Grubb, is a true graphic account of the physical, emotional and sexual abuse that a woman endured as a young girl at the hands of her disturbed, murdering, abusive pedophile father. While I found this a well written book, person...
Cruel Harvest: A Memoir by Fran Elizabeth Grubb, is a true graphic account of the physical, emotional and sexual abuse that a woman endured as a young girl at the hands of her disturbed, murdering, abusive pedophile father. While I found this a well written book, personally I would have preferred not to read this book, as I did not expect to read such a graphic account of abuse endured by a young girl. Even though this book is endorsed as an inspritational account of hope and forgivness in the midst of depair, I simply found the book too disturbing. Rather than finding enlightement, I was simply angered at the injustice. As a reader, I was stirred with righteous anger and a desire to see the abusive man recieve justice- in fact I finished this book in less than a day just for the sole purpose of seeing some justice. But in the story, that never happened.

In the end of the book, Frances eventually musters the strength to forgive long after the death of her father Broden, when she is confronted with finding his unmarked grave. I felt that this "forgiveness" was forced by her well intentioned but meddling husband. Personally, I found Frances' husband Wayne, to be a kind hearted busybody -who was the catalyst in Frances' reuninion with her siblings as an adult and in eventually seeking out her father's unmarked grave.

Unbelievably there was just not enough evidence despite the fact that he constantly beat his wife almost to the point of death, murdered his own infant daughter and abused his children. Through no fault of various kind hearted concerned neighbors, social services, and law enforcement agencies, there was never enough evidence to convict the criminal and to protect the children that were abused and neglected. The "mother" figures in Frances' life, were basically enablers that enabled the father to continue abuse and even murder. Eventually Frances took on the role of enabler as she remained silent despite the number of opportunities to break free. Even despite the number of opportunities presented for the wife and children to break free, Frances' mother remained silent, as well as Frances- in the grip of dependancy and fear. It is no suprise, when as an adult, one of Frances' younger brothers refused to be reconcilled with her. Frances would also see her step mother transform from a strong willed, spirited woman and eventually succumb to the hopelessness and the role of enabler that her biological mother had been. The abused mother and children protected the father from jail despite investigations at the hands of the authorities. There were too many loose ends in the story that were not resolved such as the whereabouts ofFrances' mother as well as her stepmother, younger stepsister and half brother. I completed this story feeling angered at the lack of justice and simply not understanding why Frances would go through the trouble of purchasing a grave marker for Broden's unmarked grave. To me, that seemed like a continuation of the cowering, enabling attitude that allowed the abuse to continue as long as it did in the first place. Unless you are a psychology student studying abnormal psychology and abuse, I would not reccomend this book. Its graphic nature and lack of satisfactory resolution, obscures any possible inspiration. As a blogger for booksneeze I recieved this book from Thomas Nelson publishers for the purpose of writing this review.

posted by PJtheEMT4 on August 1, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2012

    This book held me captive for over eleven hours! I could not put

    This book held me captive for over eleven hours! I could not put it down. I was horrified by some of the incidents that took place, especially the abuse, but I was happy that Fran was able to forgive. I know from experience that it is impossible to be free of bitterness and anger without forgiveness. When she put the stone on her dad's grave it gave me the same peace, knowing that she was showing the love of Jesus, who forgave those that killed Him. Later in the authors notes she tells what happened to her mother, and that was very helpful. I know it must have been extremely hard for her to forgive some of the things that happened to her. Fran must be an amazing woman to be able to forgive as Christ did. I LOVED this story and would reccomend it to anyone looking for freedom from anger or past hurts.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2012

    The best book I have read in a long long time! Exceptionally cou

    The best book I have read in a long long time! Exceptionally courageous and full of twists and turns! You will be mesmerized, filled with compassion, angry, happy, and maybe even cry.... but you WON'T stop reading, I can promise you this! I was touched by the honesty and child like faith as I read Fran's story of secrets that most would not whisper, yet she reveals to the world. I was happy to know that she was able to forgive and when she said, "God will judge him" I knew that if she can forgive such,atrocities, that I can forgive also. It helped me more than I can say. I HIGHLY reccomend Cruel Harvest to anyone who wants to read a great book.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 1, 2012

    This is a story of survival written by a child who grew up a lot

    This is a story of survival written by a child who grew up a lot faster than a child should and experienced the raw and cruel face of life like few people do. It is a sad and hopeful story and I feel like words can’t do it justice.

    I loved it, it is a story that shocks and terrifies but I loved how in the end Love always finds a way to give hope and restoration to a broken and lost soul, and that’s exactly what this book is about. I admire and truly appreciate the author’s courage to open up with her life story, I can only imagine how hard that must have been.

    What I liked the most about this book is that in the middle of the terrifying pages of it you can find little pieces of hope and prayers of a child who knew, in the middle of life’s darkest circumstances, in her heart that there was a God somewhere, a good, caring and loving God:
    :: She assured me that one day I would learn to read. Until then, I could make up words that were good and pretend I was talking to God. So I read what I thought the page would say. “God is with me every day,” I read. “I am not alone. God knows who I am and He cares when I am hungry or afraid. God looks down from heaven and He sees all the children who need Him.”::

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2012

    Incredible Story! Highly Recommended - you must check it out!!

    Remarkable story of survival and hope told by the child, Frances. Kidnapped from an orphanage by her father, an escaped convicted felon, Frances is subjected to every imaginable form of abuse. Yet, hope exists, even in extreme darkness. The reader is drawn inside the story as the family travels to cotton fields, criss crossing the country, following the harvests. Forced to stay in abandoned shacks or under bridges, her brother is sold for five dollars. She wittnesses her mother and sisters escape, one by one, leaving her alone. You would think Frances' life was hopeless. But Cruel Harvest has some surprises. Drama, mystery, romance, and most of all, hope. Frances refuses to give up! I was inspired and did not want the story to end. Wonderful book with a happy ending!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 3, 2012

    Cruel Harvest is a tool I believe every minister and counselor s

    Cruel Harvest is a tool I believe every minister and counselor should have at their disposal. By bringing her secrets out into the light, Grubb reveals the power of child-like faith; faith that tomorrow will be a better brighter day in spite of the horrible itrocities she endured. Cruel Harvest opens the door for others who live the nightmare, shame, and self-loathing attached to victims of abuse to break the habitual patterns of thinking that they are responsible for another person's actions. As a minister to women in recovery I recognize Cruel Harvest is a prime example of the freedom that comes by knowing the truth, releasing the anger and fear, and learning to love and be loved.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2012

    Remarkable Story! Must Read!

    Cruel Harvest is the tragic story of Frances and her family as they survive each day with her abusive father. This book will captivate you! I sat in utter shock as I turned each page. The things this family endured at the hand of this man is…unbelievable. The majority of it is about her childhood and the abuse but it occasionally flashes ahead to her adult life. I have to admit that as I read, I cried, I became angry, I was saddened by the loss of innocence and the violation of trust that took place in this family. Fran is an incredibly strong woman to have endured such an injustice and still be a functional, loving, trusting person. Her faith in God carried her through her life and it is evident that God was with her. It is inspiring to read her journey and to learn of her struggle to find peace and forgiveness.
    This book reminds me how truly blessed I am to have the family, the past and the God that I have. Our God is so good! He is faithful! And if you look, you can see him in EVERY situation!
    I would definitely recommend this book but BE WARNED, it is not for the faint of heart. The story is wonderful but the content is horrific.
    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 25, 2012

    Cruel Harvest is hands down one of the most amazing reads I've r

    Cruel Harvest is hands down one of the most amazing reads I've read this year. It might even top one of my favorites, "The Glass Castle" by Jeannette Walls. It's that poignant. The authors' story of survival made me realize alot of things about my own story. She's personal yet tasteful in her writing and she undoubtedly left me feeling extremely grateful to have the dad that I was blessed with. So many people share the same story as Grubb, yet very few are brave enough to put them down on paper. It's not a book I would recommend to very young readers just because it can be a little tough to swallow in certain scenes but overall, It's an amazing read. This author did such a wonderful job telling her story as if it happened yesterday. Coming from personal experience, I know that it's alot harder than it looks. Great book, great author and great story of overcoming the past.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 21, 2012

    Never, ever, ever give up.

    I just finished a really great memoir titled Cruel Harvest by Fran Grubb. If you've read and liked Jeannette Walls's The Glass Castle you will certainly enjoy reading this book. Grubb's writing style is authentic and captivating. I wanted to keep turning the pages because although this story is told in flashback, I couldn't wait to see what happened to her abusive father, her truant mother, and the gaggle of siblings that all, in one way or another, attempted to flee the horrific childhood that Fran Grubb knew as her life.

    Wishing she were dead most days, Grubb's sheer faith in God, her childlike prayers, and her testament of second chances kept her moving towards her Creator when many people would have moved away. I was encouraged and strengthened by her story. When you read tales of abuse, both mental and physical, that are as maddening as what Fran Grubb went through, you really do look at your own life with gratefulness and awe. How do I have it so good when others have (or had) it so bad. This book will bring you to tears while simultaneously strengthening your faith that our God will never leave nor forsake us.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 21, 2012

    Brave writer! Marvelously written, tenderly told story, of an ab

    Brave writer! Marvelously written, tenderly told story, of an abused
    child who was dragged across the country, forced into migrant labor
    camps, picking cotton and other crops to support her father's addiction
    to violence and alcohol. This story will change your way of thinking!
    I'm so blessed and I have so much compared to this little girl who tells
    the story from her young eyes. I could not stop reading! It horrified me
    to know that things like this actually happen. I know from the news that
    they still happen. This is a story of a life that seemed utterly
    forsaken. I was thrilled to read that Frances was redeemed and restored!
    I can't describe how you get pulled in to the lives of each famiily
    member. They come alive and you are inside the book watching, instead of
    reading. It's amazing! The author makes each one come alive and tells
    the story with such compassion and gentleness. Even as you read the
    horrifying events, there is an undercurrent of knowing something good is
    getting ready to happen. This is faith in action and God's healing hand.
    From the first sentence to the last I was unable to stop reading! This
    is a book you don't want to miss!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 10, 2012

    WHAT A LIFE! WHAT A BOOK! WHAT A TESTIMONY! I want to thank t

    WHAT A LIFE! WHAT A BOOK! WHAT A TESTIMONY! I want to thank the author for sharing such intimate, secret, accounts and allowing others who have had a hard life to see they are not alone. The author's ability to forgive, melted my heart and gave me courage to forgive my past also. I cringed and was shocked at times, but I also rejoiced for her faith and determination not to give up! This woman surely kept her guardian angel busy. And He was faithful, saving her time after time. What a God we serve!!! Thank you for this wonderful book!!!
    review by Thelma Mitchell.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 7, 2012

    Cruel Harvest is a work out for your heart. It will be shattere

    Cruel Harvest is a work out for your heart. It will be shattered, beaten, broken, abused, crushed, starved, abandoned, kidnapped, and finally…redeemed, just like the author. Fran Grubb takes you on a journey like none other. This isn’t the Once Upon a Time story that you tell your children, no, this is the story of horror and evil…and a story of love and hope. Never in my life have I wanted more than to reach into this story and pull Fran and her siblings out of the clutches of their Daddy. The one that should have protected them with all costs…is the one that broke them to the point of escape being their only refuge. Cruel Harvest will make you look at your life, children, and even food differently. The love of Jesus is the silver lining surrounding the words Fran pours out about her childhood. It is a message of hope, saying that no matter what you have through in your life…God can still use you…and He still loves you.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2012

    This book is too wonderful! Oh I cried! I cheered when the dad,

    This book is too wonderful! Oh I cried! I cheered when the dad, and I use that word loosely, was finally locked up, caught wiggling out a window like the snake he was, only to get clubbed by an officer. I cringed from the spiders, along with the writer and I laughed when she lost the under pants. This book is wonderful and I am already starting to read it again. The story flowed very well and I especially enjoyed the original poetry. To truly forgive and say "unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die" helped me to look into my own heart. All This from a small girl who grew up with out any formal education, locked away from the world, picking cotton in a migrant camp! Fran Elizabeth Grubb is a very special lady! The only thing left to say, is, you will love the book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 3, 2012

    Marvolous Story by Fran Grubb

    This heart warming story will be hard to put down once it has been open. Grubbs gives us graphic details of her tragic childhood with her and her siblings. She learns the power of forgiveness, has compassion for her siblings as well as others. She shows how a childs faith teaches us of Gods Love. Grubbs shows how Jesus will teach one to forgive and rebuild your life. Also, to have love and compassion for others. Very powerful story that will move so many lives. It helps others to realize someones life is\has been more difficult than yours. It took such a wonderful and such brave individual to come out and write about the life she has lived.

    Carolyn McCrorie Barnes
    Allumini Connie
    Maxwell Childrens Home, 1959

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 1, 2012

    I think this book is truly an amazing story of the life of some

    I think this book is truly an amazing story of the life of someone who did not give up. And how God. Brought her trough it all! Loved it!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 1, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Cruel Harvest: A Memoir by Fran Elizabeth Grubb, is a true graph

    Cruel Harvest: A Memoir by Fran Elizabeth Grubb, is a true graphic account of the physical, emotional and sexual abuse that a woman endured as a young girl at the hands of her disturbed, murdering, abusive pedophile father. While I found this a well written book, personally I would have preferred not to read this book, as I did not expect to read such a graphic account of abuse endured by a young girl. Even though this book is endorsed as an inspritational account of hope and forgivness in the midst of depair, I simply found the book too disturbing. Rather than finding enlightement, I was simply angered at the injustice. As a reader, I was stirred with righteous anger and a desire to see the abusive man recieve justice- in fact I finished this book in less than a day just for the sole purpose of seeing some justice. But in the story, that never happened.

    In the end of the book, Frances eventually musters the strength to forgive long after the death of her father Broden, when she is confronted with finding his unmarked grave. I felt that this "forgiveness" was forced by her well intentioned but meddling husband. Personally, I found Frances' husband Wayne, to be a kind hearted busybody -who was the catalyst in Frances' reuninion with her siblings as an adult and in eventually seeking out her father's unmarked grave.

    Unbelievably there was just not enough evidence despite the fact that he constantly beat his wife almost to the point of death, murdered his own infant daughter and abused his children. Through no fault of various kind hearted concerned neighbors, social services, and law enforcement agencies, there was never enough evidence to convict the criminal and to protect the children that were abused and neglected. The "mother" figures in Frances' life, were basically enablers that enabled the father to continue abuse and even murder. Eventually Frances took on the role of enabler as she remained silent despite the number of opportunities to break free. Even despite the number of opportunities presented for the wife and children to break free, Frances' mother remained silent, as well as Frances- in the grip of dependancy and fear. It is no suprise, when as an adult, one of Frances' younger brothers refused to be reconcilled with her. Frances would also see her step mother transform from a strong willed, spirited woman and eventually succumb to the hopelessness and the role of enabler that her biological mother had been. The abused mother and children protected the father from jail despite investigations at the hands of the authorities. There were too many loose ends in the story that were not resolved such as the whereabouts ofFrances' mother as well as her stepmother, younger stepsister and half brother. I completed this story feeling angered at the lack of justice and simply not understanding why Frances would go through the trouble of purchasing a grave marker for Broden's unmarked grave. To me, that seemed like a continuation of the cowering, enabling attitude that allowed the abuse to continue as long as it did in the first place. Unless you are a psychology student studying abnormal psychology and abuse, I would not reccomend this book. Its graphic nature and lack of satisfactory resolution, obscures any possible inspiration. As a blogger for booksneeze I recieved this book from Thomas Nelson publishers for the purpose of writing this review.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 15, 2013

    God bless people with the courage to write about the pain and sh

    God bless people with the courage to write about the pain and shame in their childhoods. Fran Elizabeth Grubb's childhood was an unending nightmare no child should ever have to endure, but endure she did. She not only endured but triumphed.

    One of seven children, she traveled across the south picking cotton with her parents. Her father was a cruel alcoholic who got meaner when he'd been drinking--which was every day. He beat his wife and children for any or no reason and sexually abused his daughters. Only the love of their mother kept the children sane.

    This is an amazing story by a courageous woman who, with the love and help of God and her wonderful husband, overcomes a shattering past to find and reunite most of her scattered family and forgive her father.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2013

    Page Turner! I bought this book for my mother-in-law for Christm

    Page Turner! I bought this book for my mother-in-law for Christmas (She loves this genre). She finished it in 3 days and commented how great it was. (She is picky). She had other good comments but I don't want to give away anything.

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  • Posted November 9, 2012

    "Cruel Harvest" makes the "Glass House" look

    "Cruel Harvest" makes the "Glass House" look like a tea party in a castle. This story is a memoir of Francis Grubb, her life marked both by unthinkable abuse and God's amazing love. Francis' words gripped me with every word and emotion. She shares her story, so that others that survive abuse will share their stores as well and come to know God's amazing Grace. This novel is very well written and one I am not soon to forget.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2012

    Reviewers Misunderstand and Misrepresent the Author

    This book was very inspirational. While I could go on about the reasons why I liked this book, and how it inspired me, etc. I simply wanted to respond to some of the comments regarding the author's representation, or so-called misrepresentation, of forgiveness. A few reviewers commented that Fran misinterpreted forgiveness and Christianity by using the verse, Matthew 6:15- "But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." I see statements in the reviews saying that Fran forgave her father out of fear of punishment and hell, and that true forgiveness is that we forgive not out of fear, but because Christ first forgave us. In my opinion, these reviews misrepresent what Fran conveyed in the closing pages of her memoir, which was a very sincere forgiveness, not out of fear for condemnation, but out of recognizing the depths of sin and being able to forgive through Christ's power. The notion of being able to forgive b/c of Christ first forgiving us, is at the very forefront of all the dialogue Fran wrote in this section on forgiving her father. She conveys how hard it was to forgive, but at no point does she ever state that the forgiveness was done out of fear that she would not be forgiven. In fact, she goes on to state that it was the power of the Lord working through her that enabled her to forgive. I too am a Christian with a firm belief on holding to grace. If a vain or false forgiveness had been presented in this memoir, then yes, absolutely it should be addressed--but that was not the case here. What some reviewers wrote in regards to Fran's forgiveness, is completely off base and quite judgmental. I rarely comment in forums such as this, but it is hard for me to go silent with such off-base and judgmental comments about someone else's true, humble, and very Christ-based forgiveness. This book was someone's life. A nightmare that most of us could never imagine living through or being able to survive. Perhaps that is why we find it so hard to understand that Fran did forgive, and that her forgiveness was done with no ulterior motive, completely unselfishl, and not for fear that her own soul would not be forgiven if she did not forgive the unforgiveable things her father did to her and her family for years and years. I have a hard time understanding why some reviewers feel it is okay to judge someone else's forgiveness of others--especially when the text of her book implies nothing of the nature that these reviewers concluded. You may have been asked to review the book--but you were not asked to determine if her forgiveness was genuine or Christ-based. That is for God, not you. You are right, you do not have to like the book or give a positive review. This book is not for everyone. But, it is not for anyone on this side of Heaven to judge the intentions of someone else's heart and the motivations of their own forgiveness to others. You should feel ashamed.

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  • Posted September 14, 2012

    Great Great Book

    Such a good book, heart-wrenching, honest and well wrote.

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