Help A Bitch Out

HaBO: Somebody Stole her Book!

If you know about my introduction to the romance genre, you know it is based entirely on jealousy, and petty larceny. So it’s with some embarrassment that I post this HaBO from Jenn, who says the romance she’s looking for was swiped from her before she could finish it.

I think it was from the 1980s– I remember reading it
before my daughter was born (in 1992). Possibly not a
“traditional” romance novel, and I remember the author
as being male and that it was a pretty thick
paperback.

It was set in Depression-era America. There was a
well-off girl, who lived in a large, expensive home;
her parents were cold and unloving towards her. She
was falling in love with a boy from the “wrong side of
the tracks”– his family was quite poor, and her
family was scandalized that she would even consider
being friendly with him. I believe the girl had to
sneak away to visit the boy’s house– and she enjoyed
going there because despite their poverty, his parents
were kind & loving and she had never felt loved
before.

I think her visits were discovered, there was a
terrible scene, and she may have been locked in her
room when her parents found out. The girl runs away
just as the boy’s family is leaving town, heading out
west to look for better prospects.

They are on the road, living in either a tent or a
car, in the dust-bowl states; I think by this time the
girl & boy had married and were expecting a baby.

I think eventually they headed for California; the boy
dreamed of becoming an aviator, and it was either
hinted in the last chapters or in a synopsis of the
next book that he would become a pilot (in San Diego?)
just in time for WWII; I do remember that the story
clearly did not end with this book but was to be
continued in a sequel.

I was reading the book (and had skimmed the end, bad
me) when I set it down on a bench and someone walked
away with it; I thought I’d be able to find another
copy & finish it, but I never did and then I couldn’t
remember the author, title, or character names.

The one other thing I remember quite clearly was a
scene toward the beginning where the girl is visiting
the boy at his house before they leave town; the
mother invites her to stay for dinner, and afterward
the girl wants to help clean up because she’s afraid
they will think she’s stuck-up if she doesn’t offer,
but she doesn’t know how to wash dishes without a sink
and hot running water and a box of soap flakes. She
feels too stupid to offer and then ask to be shown how
to do dishes in what’s essentially a shack. And she
feels that she’s making a terrible impression on the
boy’s mother, who she likes & wants to be liked back.

I know this isn’t much to go on, and if anyone
recognizes it I will be so grateful! I’d like to find
this “one that got away”. Thank you!

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  1. 1
    Barb Ferrer says:

    This is going to make me crazy, I know it.  It sounds like something in the Robert Vaughan/Dana Fuller Ross vein of historical epics.

    ACK.  Sorry I’m not more help, but this is definitely familiar.

  2. 2
    Jessica says:

    Don’t know what this is, but it sounds good!

  3. 3
    LizC says:

    Why does John Jakes leap to my mind? That’s annoying because he’s not written any Depression-era novels to my knowledge. He likes older. But aside from that it sounds like exactly the sort of thing he’d write.

    Yeah, I’m no help.

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