Book: Depression Carpenter by Java Daviscategories: Book, Carpentry, Station Wagon, Gulf of Mexico, Race Relations, Adirondacks, Florida, Alabama, Baton Rouge, Galveston, New York, Civilian Conservation Corps, Great Depression
Java Davisabout this book: Jackson Ferry is born into a privileged New York family, losing them in a car accident at the start of The Great Depression. Young and wealthy, he needs to justify his good fortune that contrasts so starkly from most of America. Skilled in carpentry, he drives to the Gulf of Mexico, working on building projects all around the gulf with Chin, his peculiar friend and partner from Florida. Where Chin is happy-go-lucky, Jake is thoughtful, always searching for more, using carpentry to strengthen his self-esteem. But together, they are a powerful team.
In Alabama, after camping in a local cemetery, they find themselves among some fresh recruits for FDR's Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Further up the road, the pair is adopted by a Negro community, giving Jake his first real lessons in race relations. Jake veers off to Baton Rouge and reminds himself what it's like to be wealthy. But he leaves Louisiana after ten weeks to continue his Gulf coast journey.
When Jake lands in Galveston, Texas, he stays for several years to help rebuild the island as it recovers from massive floods, sponsoring an inter-racial school for the island's orphans. Ultimately, Jake learns to accept himself and makes peace with his circumstances.
This book took nine months to write. The research to learn about the Gulf coast states during The Great Depression was fascinating, especially the horrendous history of Galveston, Texas. The years of The Great Depression and the Dust Bowl continue to interest me, and I would love to write more historical fiction about this era. I'm also a classic car enthusiast and researched an appropriate station wagon for the trip, a Ford "Woodie," a photo of which is on the book's cover.
Depression Carpenter is available on Amazon for Kindle as an ebook, and also as an audiobook, narration by Justin D. Torres.
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