My debut novel – Josephine: Red Dirt and Whiskey – is set in Texas during the Great Depression.
The Great Depression is mentioned several times throughout the novel and acts as a constant backdrop for the novel’s actions. Money and the fear of poverty and scarcity run underneath the actions of the main character, Josephine.
In the novel, there are references to Josephine’s garden, and there is a connection between Josephine’s downward spiral and her neglect of her land.
So, what’s canning got to do with it?
Well, lots actually. During the Great Depression, rural communities in northeast Texas relied on the canning skills of the ladies in the community to provide for their families. By being able to can the produce they raised in their gardens, they had food for their families during a time when many did not.
To support these efforts of women in northeast Texas, the Reconstruction Finance Corporation made loans to establish canning clubs in most rural communities, including Titus County in northeast Texas. Buildings were erected in various locations throughout northeast Texas where women could learn how to correctly can produce to help reduce food poisoning as well as provide storage for the canning materials and tools. Some of the canning clubs that received money from the Reconstruction Finance Corporation in rural northeast Texas were located in Titus County.
In the novel, Josephine distances herself from the women in the community and neglects her home and garden when she starts making decisions that lead her down the wrong path.
To read more about the effects of the Great Depression on people living in rural northeast Texas, go to Titus County Great Depression.
Josephine: Red Dirt and Whiskey paperback edition coming soon!