A slow-moving Grapes of Wrath offshoot, with Dust Bowl refugees bravely battling rich ranchers. In 1937, the down-and-out Robertson family reaches the San Joaquin Valley after being forced off their Texas ranch--but things ain't much better in sunny California. Despite picking almost everything you can think of--peaches, plums, raisins, cotton--Ertie and Bessie and their five kids are just barely getting by. Matters aren't helped any, either, by brutal ranchers like Titus Wardlow, who--when he isn't racing airplanes and having affairs--is thinking of new ways to cheat the common man out of a decent working wage and rob him of his dignity. Things reach a head when Ertie joins some union men who've set up a camp for strikers and is killed by Wardlow's goons. Ertie's 15-year-old son, Jake, retaliates with Pa's six-gun, wounding two sheriffs and paralyzing Wardlow from the waist down--no more flying and fornicating for Titus. A sequel is in the air as Jake is led off to juvenile prison--after tearfully promising Ma not to let ""people change ya or get to ya."" Well-researched and sincere, but this is a road well-traveled.