Memoir set mainly in Verona
Harvest the Wind
Location(s): South Central Idaho
Genre(s): Historical, Fiction
Virginia Franconi left home at eighteen like the hounds of hell were nipping at her heels. Now, in her mid-twenties, she returns to the family farm in Idaho. Her sour, belligerent father, once an iron-fisted ruler, is weak and frail, no longer a threat. Marc, Virginia’s brother, runs the farm. Virginia is pregnant, a secret she doesn’t initially share. With most young men off fighting the war in Europe or the Pacific, Marc worries who will help grow the food demanded by a hungry nation.
When President Roosevelt orders all people of Japanese descent removed from the West Coast, Keiko Ugawa and her family find themselves in a crowded, tar-paper covered barrack, surrounded by barbed wire and guard towers, where temperatures reach 130F in summer and minus 30F in winter. Dust and wind are constants. Her mother dies and Keiko’s anger at authorities intensifies.
Marc’s worries about who will help him are solved when the government allows internees from nearby Camp Minidoka to work on surrounding farms. A saddened and still angry Keiko comes to the Franconi farm and works in the house with Virginia, now approaching her due date. Keiko reluctantly helps Virginia through the birth of her baby and thus begins a lifelong friendship.
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