Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Time It Never Rained, by Elmer Kelton

Book image courtesy of

Read and reviewed in August, 2010. Released later

This is a novel about a historical event, a devastating years-long drought that occurred in West Texas, USA during the 1950s.

Here are some quotes from the author in his Introduction: "I hoped the novel would give urban people a better understanding of hazards the rancher and the farmer face in trying to feed and clothe them."
"Many people over the years have asked me if I based Charlie Flagg on their fathers. My mother was convinced that I wrote it about *my* father. The truth is, I did, in part. I wrote it about him and about many, many others I knew, people who still retained an old frontier heritage of fighting their own fight, testing one strategy and when it failed trying another, but above all simply enduring, and enduring."
"... not the traditional Western fictional heroes, standing up to a villain for one splendid moment of glory ... quiet but determined men and women who stand their ground year after year in a fight they can never finally win, against an unforgiving enemy they know will return to challenge them again and again so long as they live."

A historical perspective of the 1950s drought: from the Lower Colorado River Authority
(LCRA = Lower Colorado River Authority, a Texas utility)

A book I thoroughly enjoyed. I had not heard of the 1950s drought in Texas, even though I visited my grandparents in San Antonio during that time. If the adults had ever discussed it, I didn't hear it (or maybe don't remember). This novel deals with the hardships of farming and ranching in a drought-stricken land, and with family relationships, and relationships between Caucasian landowners and Hispanic laborers, both legal and "wetbacks".

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments, please