Cruel Harvest: A Memoirby Fran Elizabeth Grubb, Bryan Reardon
"Get out here, now, or I'm gonna kill you!" he hollered.
Little girls are hardwired to hold their daddies in high esteem, so it comes as a shock the first time a daughter feels the back of her daddy's hand across her face . . . or watches him punch and kick her mother to within an inch of her life.
How could this be? Her older sisters teach her/b>/b>
"Get out here, now, or I'm gonna kill you!" he hollered.
Little girls are hardwired to hold their daddies in high esteem, so it comes as a shock the first time a daughter feels the back of her daddy's hand across her face . . . or watches him punch and kick her mother to within an inch of her life.
How could this be? Her older sisters teach her how to survive, even when he comes for her in the night.
A girl learns to become invisible, to look the other way, to say nothing when a curious stranger asks if she's okay. To lie. To expect nothing, not even from relatives.
To cry without tears.
To pray silently.
When she is fourteen, and weary, a girl begins to wish she were dead. Cruel Harvest is the compelling story of how she lived instead.
"A story that seizes the reader's attention . . . the reader can't look away." ?Publisher's Weekly
“Fran Grubb's childhood odyssey is a shatteringly dark tale of despair. But that's not the end of her captivating life story. Each page of Cruel Harvest reveals a remarkable journey of rescue and redemption. Your heart will be moved as you witness Jesus' power to deliver, forgive, reconcile, rebuild, and love.” —Denalyn and Max Lucado
“Cruel Harvest is an incredible story of survival and forgiveness. Fran’s ability to survive brokenness as a child and even into adulthood and then to overcome those experiences through faith and forgiveness is a true testament to the power of God’s love for each of us. Everyone can be inspired by her story.”—Sheila Walsh, author of God Loves Broken People and Women of Faith speaker
“Against all odds, Fran survived her trip through the "valley of the shadow of death." I loved reading this story of deliverance. Thank you for the reminder that God can turn our mourning into dancing!”—Gracia Burnham, former hostage and author of In the Presence of My Enemies
“Fran Grubb’s heartbreaking story is ultimately one of triumph against all odds. Cruel Harvest is well-written and riveting. It’s unimaginable that Fran could face such daily horrors and come out with such grace, wisdom, and generosity. You will be deeply moved!” — June Cotner, author of the bestselling Graces and 26 other books, www.junecotner.com
“It is hard endorsing Cruel Harvest with just a few words. I want everyone to know how powerful her story is and how many lives it can help change, and is currently changing. Ever since reading Fran Grubb’s story I have used it to help numerous clients that are victims of childhood violence. Every woman has commented on her faith and how her book has given them hope! We are putting the book in our library for all the ladies to read.” —Vicki Mason, Primary Crisis Interventionist, Women's Crisis Services of LeFlore County, Poteau, Oklahoma
“This was a wonderful book. We could feel the faith of the child throughout every page. We highly recommend Cruel Harvest.” —DeWayne and Rebecca Hicks, Founders of Courage to Change Ministries, Greenville, Arkansas
“Cruel Harvest will touch your heart clear through to your soul! I guarantee that you won't be disappointed and you won't be able to put it down.” —Pastor Ray Witherington, Midnight Cry Ministries / Restoration Revival Center Church, Townville, South Carolina
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Read an Excerpt
Cruel HarvestA MEMOIR
By FRAN ELIZABETH GRUBB
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2012 Frances Elizabeth Grubb, aka Fran Grubb
All right reserved.
When I was nine years old, Daddy abducted me from an orphanage in South Carolina. It was 1958, and he had just escaped from a California prison where he had been serving a sentence for raping my oldest sister, Brenda, and attempting to murder my mother. For years he abused me in every way he could. At one point, my family consisted of two parents, three sisters, and two brothers. By the time I was fourteen years old, they had all escaped one way or another. Everyone but me.
My decision to write down my story began with my husband's encouragement. He felt I could help others as well as myself by public speaking. I started slowly, revealing intimate details at speaking engagements with the hope that my life would help others. I was amazed when hundreds of people, every place I went, wanted to hear more. After a few years of traveling, speaking at churches, prisons, women's meetings, rehabilitation clinics, and orphanages, sharing my story with the audience and talking to men and women who had gone through similar experiences, I was certain he was right. Many men, women, and even children had never discussed their abuse before. I experienced how hearing what I went through helped people work out the troubles in their own lives. This is why I want to tell about these events in such detail—why I don't want to hold back. It's the beginning of healing for others.
One day, my husband, Wayne, drove me to a doctor's appointment. It was a nice spring day, so he decided to sit in the car and wait for me. When we left the house, he had grabbed my writings off the table and brought them with him to read. Why he chose to do that, I am not sure, but I found it touching that he cared enough to read my words again for at least the third time. He's a quiet man, polite and gentle in his ways, tall and handsome in my eyes. Meeting him is one of the many amazing blessings I have been awarded in my life.
Wayne began to read when I got out of the car.
"Wow, Honey. Are you going to read that again?" I asked, smiling down at him.
"It'll give me something to do while I wait," he said, glancing through it and smiling as I shut the door.
I left Wayne and attended to my appointment. I cannot even remember what I was there for. What I can remember is walking back out to our car and finding Wayne, still sitting in the same place I had left him, with tears rolling down his cheeks. He turned and looked at me when I got in the car and closed the door.
"Are you crying because of what you read?" I asked.
Wayne didn't say anything. I slid into my seat and gave him a hug. We sat together in the parking lot as tears ran down his face.
"Don't worry about it, Honey," I whispered softly. "That was a long time ago."
Wayne smiled, but there was determination behind his eyes. I could tell he had made a decision, and that he was up to something.
I had lived my adult life without any family other than my two children and Wayne. I remember wishing I could be like everyone else and have brothers and sisters and parents. I would have settled for a great aunt. When Christmas or other holidays came around, I celebrated, but there was always something missing. It was almost as if my family had not existed; as if they had become just what I feared they would—a story.
Wayne had siblings, aunts, uncles, and a mother and father, and they treated me with kindness. I was happy for him. Still it made me sad to see the family pictures he had hanging up all over our house. It was so different for me. I had forgotten what my sisters looked like.
Wayne knew how I felt, and on his own he decided to do something to grant my wish. He decided to find my family. A few weeks after my doctor's appointment, he came to me with a phone number for my sister Brenda. I had not seen her in almost forty years.
Making the call was very difficult. I didn't know what to expect. Maybe, I thought, she'd want to leave the past dead and buried. I couldn't blame her for that. But instead, she invited Wayne and me to her home for Thanksgiving dinner.
We arrived at Brenda's home in Mobile, Alabama, and were welcomed with hugs and tears from her children and grandchildren. They had a beautiful home, full of laughter and life; Brenda was raising three of her grandchildren. When I first walked in the door, the aroma of turkey, stuffing, pies, and gingerbread was like a fantasy come true for me. I felt at home, as our childhood home should have been.
Her kitchen was warm and cozy even though it was open to the rest of the house. The cabinets were cherrywood, and she had white, starched-lace doilies on the top shelves. An antique butter churn stood beside an old milking stool, and a large Raggedy Ann doll sat on the stool. Brenda stood on the tile floor by the stove in her bare feet. When I walked into the kitchen and saw her for the first time in decades, she had a spatula in her hand and wore a wide, white apron, folded and tied around her middle. "Hello, Sissie." I whispered the nickname I had grown up calling her. She crossed the kitchen floor in two strides and wrapped her arms around me. We hugged, and I felt I had found peace. It was what I dreamed coming home would feel like.
I stared at my sister, taking her in as if she were the embodiment of the years I'd lost. She hadn't changed that much. Her sweet face was still very pretty, but now she had gray hair with touches of silver. She had gained some weight, which made me think about our hunger as children.
We pulled up chairs to the kitchen table and began catching up with each other and sharing our life events. All around us, her children and their spouses, her grandchildren, my husband, and people I didn't know yet filed through a buffet line she had set up on her long kitchen counter, filling their plates with baked ham, roast turkey, cornbread stuffing, macaroni and cheese, sweet potatoes, apple dumplings, and corn on the cob. Brenda loves to cook, and she loves to see people eat. Children crowded around the table with their plates filled, others wandered off to the dining room, and some took their food to the family room. All the while, Brenda waited to eat until everyone in the house had settled.
As we sat with our plates, talking just loud enough to be heard, a young man came to the back door of Brenda's house. He seemed to be in his early twenties—a good-looking boy. He walked right into the kitchen without knocking.
"Do you have any eggs we can borrow?" he asked. He opened her refrigerator and started gathering what he wanted as though it happened all the time.
Brenda stood up and introduced me to her young neighbor and invited him and his wife to come and eat with us. He politely declined, saying they would stop by later. She handed him a bowl for the eggs, they exchanged a few kind words, and the boy walked back out of the house. Awhile later, someone else came by to borrow another Thanksgiving ingredient. I leaned over to one of Brenda's daughters, my niece.
"It's like she's running a grocery store," I said, smiling.
I laughed and chatted with my sister and her family, and Brenda held my hand, but I noticed she never laughed herself. Although she was kind, she didn't seem happy, and she never really smiled with her eyes. I was bubbling over with pure delight, but there was a somber air about Brenda, even as she served and comforted everyone else. I could tell she was happy to see me, but it never showed in her face. She just never let loose a single chuckle. I avoided the subject of the past; it seemed that she had been scarred so badly and affected in a way far deeper than I could ever know.
Still, watching Brenda share with everyone deeply touched me. Later that night, while I was still thinking about Brenda's kindness, I bumped into one of her sons while getting some tea from the refrigerator. After looking at me for a second, my nephew said, "I've never seen my mama smile the way you do. I've never seen her look happy."
There was no way to tell how much he already knew. I determined that was up to his mom to decide, so I vaguely referred to the tough childhood she'd endured and led him back to the family. We talked the night away on happier subjects.
Time flew by. I can honestly say that up to that point, it was like nothing I had experienced before. On that night I felt the first inkling of being part of something bigger. The feeling only grew as family members sleepily peeled off to go to bed. In the end, it was just Brenda and me at the dining room table. Although her voice was gentle and sweet, she still did not smile.
"You remember that train?" Brenda asked.
I shuddered. The memory sent a chill through me. I shifted in my seat and nodded.
"You were so afraid of the trains." Brenda almost whispered, as though unsure of how I would react.
I remembered. I did not want to talk about it, but I didn't want to interrupt or be disrespectful to my sister either. I had succeeded in shutting out many of the horrid, mind-numbing memories and could finally fall asleep without waking up screaming. Many of the memories had faded into the past; a part of my mind let me pretend it was a dream. I sure didn't want to bring them back up.
I could tell Brenda needed to talk, though. I tried to sit still and not let her see how uneasy I was as she took me back to our childhood.
Chapter TwoThe Train
Smoke rose up from the dying campfire; a single wisp hit the trestles above and disintegrated like fragile glass thrown against the rusting iron. We had just finished another long, exhausting day picking apples. I was hungry again. Even at five years old, I could not stop thinking about food. Whenever I was allowed to eat, I swallowed it up fast, every bite, but I never felt full. That night, dinner was a little bruised apple I had snuck back to the camp from the farmer's orchard. I had hidden it in the pocket of my dress, a treasure to eat once everyone went to bed.
Sitting on a gravel bank, I could hear the soft trickle of moving water; it was barely enough to be called a stream. I stayed as still as I could, trying to fade into the ground and the gravel and the bridge trestles above. I sat on the bank away from our campsite and would not move until Brenda came to tell me it was bedtime. I knew something ugly and wrong was happening between my Daddy and oldest sister. I saw the way he groped at her chest as she tried to rush past him. I knew there was something horribly wrong with the way he touched her, and when she cried it hurt me too.
We were the only pickers left now, and everything was quiet that night. At five years old, I still did not understand the abuse that happened when the family bedded down. But I already had an unvoiced uneasiness when my dad was near. It was something evil, hidden in shame.
I didn't know to what extent he abused Brenda at that time, but I was to learn from firsthand experience as I passed from childhood to adolescence. Often, my cries at night, wrenched from the depths of my soul, brought me back to those nights when Daddy made Brenda cry.
She was only thirteen then, but I cannot remember a time that she did not take care of me.
That evening, sitting on the gravel bank, I saw her face in the flickering light of the fire. Her eyes were red, her cheeks puffy from crying. She greeted me with loving words, but she did not smile. Instead, she led me in my bare feet across the gravel to where a frayed green woolen army quilt spread out across the ground. My little brother was already lying down. Susie and Nellie were there, too, and Susie was sitting up. Brenda told me to wait there so she could wash my face, patting my arm as she walked away.
Nobody spoke for fear of our dad hearing us. Susie touched my blond curls. My brother stirred but did not make a sound. Then Brenda was back with that awful washcloth in her hand. I squirmed.
"Hush now," she whispered.
I saw the water from the spring dripping off the moldy gray cloth. Even before it got near my face, the smell made me want to run. I reeled, throwing my hands out to stop it from touching my face. I knew Brenda meant well, but that cloth smelled horrible. We didn't have soap, and everyone in the family washed with this same cloth. It made me sick to smell it, much less have it touch my face.
Brenda would have none of it. Not harshly, but firmly, she grasped my chin and cleaned the day's filth from my forehead. Even when she was done, the smell stuck to me as if it was lodged in my sinuses. After she got me tucked in beside the others she went back to the spring. I lay quietly watching as Brenda tried to wash what looked like a slip and her ragged underwear in the little stream below. She didn't have any soap, but she scrubbed at the tattered clothes, dunking them with restrained fury under the rocky streambed. This was much like any other night.
The morning came too fast. Before I even realized I had fallen asleep, a hand shook me awake. I grumbled and shook the hand off.
"Be quiet and get up," Brenda whispered in my ear. "We're leaving."
I sat up. It was still dark out, the sunlight just barely peeking above the tree line to the east. Our camp was in chaos. The soot-blackened pots and pans were lying on the rocks, strewn by the open fire. Our army blanket was in a heap, and my little brother, Robbie, was lying on the bare ground where he had rolled off in the middle of the night. Some of the few clothes we had to wear hung on trees drying; others had fallen to the ground. A few empty bean cans were tossed near the cold campfire that had gone out during the night.
Brenda moved away, joining my mother. Together, they gathered up what few belongings we had and prepared to tie them up inside the green army blanket. Mama hadn't combed her dark hair, and it fell across her face in tangles. Brenda was quiet as usual, but she moved quickly, picking up everything in the camp and stacking it on the blanket we used for our bed. My little brother's blond curls brushed his shoulders; he could have passed for a girl except for his ragged overalls and a white shirt that had turned grey from not being washed. His knees stuck through his frayed pants, and his brown brogan shoes were two sizes too large and had no laces, which made him fall down a lot. He snuggled up to me. I could see my own fear mirrored in his large blue eyes. It mixed with a nearly overwhelming wish to sit still and not leave this spot. If I stayed in this spot and let them leave me here, I would never have to run to catch another train or see my mama hurt or hear Brenda cry.
Daddy would have none of that. He barked out harsh words, and my mother and Brenda tried to pick up their already harried pace. The sun continued to rise and, as the daylight pushed back the night, Daddy got angrier. I sat completely still and refused to move. I hoped if I stayed still enough, nobody would notice and I wouldn't have to run with them to that dreaded, black monster.
It was not to be. My dad grabbed me by the collar of my dress and dragged me out of camp. The rest of the family followed as quickly as they could. That was when I heard the distant whistle of what, in my mind, seemed to be an approaching monster.
As I begged my little legs to hurry, I saw the trail of gray smoke coughing out of the coal-black locomotive. Its whistle sounded again, echoing over the Blue Ridge valley. Its mighty engine whined as it fought to pull its heavy load up the winding mountain.
"Get down," Daddy growled.
By that time, my sisters had caught up to me. We crouched close to the ground beside the bushes running along the orchard we had worked the day before. The dawn light spread darker shadows across the gloom. We tried to disappear into them as the train slowly rolled past, so close that the engineer could have seen us if he was looking. The smell of burning coal made it nearly impossible to catch my breath.
This particular train passed our campsite every day. Daddy had watched it daily, and he learned that it moved slowly. Due to the steep slope of the mountain, the train was famously called the Virginia Creeper. He knew that, and he also knew that an empty boxcar followed the tender car.
"Now!" he yelled.
At the sound of his voice, we made a break for that boxcar. My eyes locked onto the metal ladder that hung down past the opening; I knew I would have to grab it to pull myself inside. I was small for age five, and undernourished, so I was more the size of a three-year-old. The icy morning air tugged at my stringy blond curls and pierced my tattered clothes. All I could think about, though, was that metal ladder rung. If I couldn't grab it, those giant iron wheels would suck me under and tear me up worse than any imaginary monster.
Excerpted from Cruel Harvest by FRAN ELIZABETH GRUBB Copyright © 2012 by Frances Elizabeth Grubb, aka Fran Grubb. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Meet the Author
Fran Grubb travels across the southeast United States with her husband, speaking at churches, tent revivals, prisons, women's shelters, children’s homes, and drug or alcohol rehabilitation centers. D. James Kennedy featured Fran in his "Reclaiming America for Christ” campaign in 2003. Fran and and her husband are founders of a nonprofit organization called "Feed the Hungry Children." When Fran was told about starving children in Kenya and shown photographs of the women and children picking up grains of rice off the ground, she was moved to help. She and her husband, Wayne, were instrumental in building a church in Kangundo, East Kenya, and they have sent money for clothes, food, and school supplies, as well as electronic equipment and a bicycle for Titus Kakonzi, a minister in a small village in Kenya. Fran has two children and five grandchildren. She and her husband live with their dogs, Banghor and Little Bit, in South Carolina.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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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.
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.
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.”::
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!
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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
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!!
This book was one of the hardest books I've ever read not because the writing wasn't good but because it is so sad. I can't believe the things that this family endured. I literally finished this book in 2 days and I would highly recommend it .
What a powerful testimony to forgiveness!
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.
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.
"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.
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.
Such a good book, heart-wrenching, honest and well wrote.
If you are in the least inclined to believe in miracles and angels, this book will give you the evidence you need. Cruel Harvest and Ms. Fran Grubb will be remembered by this reader for a long long time. I don't think I will ever forget this story. It is truly remarkable! I would love to read the second book she writes. It seems that there might be a second book as she hints of the self destruction she went through after escaping from her father at age fourteen. In the end she allows God to move in her heart, and the forgiveness that takes place is heart warming. The reunion, when she is reunited with the family she lost as a young child, will bring tears of joy to your eyes. The writing was original and unique. I loved her writing style. So easy to read and not a hint of pity. I highly reccomend CRUEL HARVEST and I can tell you in advance that you won't be able to put this one down! Thank you Fran Grubb for sharing this amazing memoir! Review by Brenda Joyce.