Tuesday, July 25, 2023

#BookReview: Surviving the Sand by Helen Lingscheit Heavirland

Synopsis: "Dad's eyes danced. His grin held happiness...hope. 'We're home!' he announced. Mom stared out the pickup window. Silent. Lifeless...Tufts of skinny grass and small grayish green bushes surrounded us. The land lay flat in every direction as far as I could see." Helen Lingscheit Heavirland spent her early years in western Oregon's beautiful woods, where her father Wayne Lingscheit's work as a logger provided a comfortable home. But Wayne dreamed of farming, and Columbia Basin Project irrigation opened a new opportunity. In 1954 he and his wife Gladys moved their family--seven-year-old Helen, baby Hazel, twelve-year-old Frank, and fifteen-year-old Emma--to raw land in Pasco, Washington, that was mostly bunchgrass and sagebrush. The only structures were a roofless outhouse, an eight-foot by sixteen-foot wooden shack, and a pen for sheep and goats. In Surviving the Sand, Helen shares her family's hardscrabble yet heartwarming story, chronicling common hardships many faced in the Columbia Basin Project's early settlement days. She describes breaking sod, plants destroyed by wind-whipped sand, and a harrowing first winter sleeping outside after a storm shredded their tent, but also simple joys like fresh apricots, Crokinole games, and letters from loved ones. Most of all, she relates how--despite the heartache, arduous work, and tough times--her family loves, laughs, and works together as they chase her father's seemingly impossible dream.


Rating: 2 Stars
My Review: This one I didn't care for. I felt like it was hard to understand and not engaging. 


"Entertaining and engaging...This memoir has a great deal to contribute to rural women's studies and to our knowledge about agriculture beginnings associated with this project."

--Tracey Hanshew, Assistant Professor, WSU Tri-Cities Department of History, author of Oklahoma Rodeo Women

"Heavirland recounts in vivid prose the trials and triumphs of twentieth century pioneering and how a family's overcoming spirit contributed to a thriving rural community."

--Richard D. Scheuerman, author of Harvest Heritage and Palouse Country: A Land and It's People

"Helen Heavirland has given us a gift of grit and wit wrapped in Inspiration in Surviving the Sand. Her memoir reads like a novel with its passion and pace. It's a treasure of history and a family's faith-filled hope that you'll long remember. I know I will."

--Jane Kirkpatrick, New York Times best-selling author of Homestead 

"You really come away feeling that this family never gave up hope...While there might be other stories like this, I doubt they are told as well. I'll have a new appreciation for just what it took to create this 'Irrigated Eden.'"--Keith C. Petersen, former Idaho State Historian and Associate Director of the Idaho State Historical Society, author of John Mullan and Company Town

About the Author

Helen Lingscheit Heavirland holds a B. S. in Nursing from Walla Walla University, and eventually served as a director of nursing. She also worked with her husband at his business, and has travelled internationally to help build new schools and assist with free medical clinics. Because written words inspire her, she began to write, and now has published five books as well as hundreds of stories, devotions, poems, songs, and articles in magazines and anthologies. Her writing has won multiple Cascade Awards and an honorable mention from Writer's Digest. Currently she teaches ordinary people to write inspiring stories, and in her spare time enjoys hiking, biking, birding, and skiing.

Did you know that comments are DELICIOUS? Well they are and if you comment on any of these posts you could win some awesome goodies! 

Don't forget to check out our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and out other social media found on the side bar! 

 Disclaimer: "All opinions are 100% honest and my own."  Thanks to Goodreads and Amazon for the book cover, about the book, and author information. Buying via these links allows my site to get a % of the sale at no cost to you. 

FTC Guidelines: In accordance with FTC guidelines regarding endorsements and testimonials for bloggers, I would like my readers to know that many of the books I review are provided to me for free by the publisher or author of the book in exchange for an honest review. If am compensated for any reviews on this site I will state that post has been sponsored. 


Post a Comment

Hateful and Unrelated Comments Will Be Deleted. Anonymous comments are invalid to enter into giveaways.