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Fields of Wrath    by Mark Wheaton order for
Fields of Wrath
by Mark Wheaton
Order:  USA  Can
Thomas & Mercer, 2016 (2016)
Softcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Barbara Lingens

This is a story that takes place close to my old home in Ventura County, California. Here are vast, fertile fields, mostly covered in strawberries. In season, while driving up the 101, you can see the workers tending the plants, either cultivating, picking or tilling. Their stories are what Mark Wheaton has depicted.

Who wants to bend over in the cold, wind or hot blazing sun? Only people who are desperate for work, or who have no other option. The situation is rife for exploitation, and Fields of Wrath gives us a look at how things can go very wrong. The trouble only begins with the workers. Big landowners, lawyers, police, sheriffs, as well as district attorneys and judges are all involved. To make a dent in such a big operation requires a lot of painstaking research that sometimes has to be done clandestinely.

The hero in this story is Luis, a young priest who comes from a dangerous past. Somehow his faith is unwavering, and this is what helps him overcome almost insurmountable odds, including several deaths, to get help for some very disadvantaged workers.

Even though there are a lot of characters to keep track of and the plot gets a bit murky at times, you will not be disappointed in this page-turner. I couldn't wait to find out whether it was going to be possible to topple something so intertwined in so many lives.

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