The Patch of Blue was published in 1932, just a few years into "The Great Depression". Like many of Grace's books in this era, this one tells how a family copes with their loss when their bank fails. Unique to this particular family is that Mr. Walton is the bank president! After a run on the bank Mr. Walton returns home to dinner, only to be shot by a disgruntled depositor that evening.
The book's theme is foreshadowed in the church service the day before:
"It is easy enough to thank God when everything is going well and we have all that we want in our lives. The true test of a thankful heart is to be able to sing praise when things are going all wrong.
When we have lost our money or our friends or are disappointed in our dearest ambitions, or when we are in a strange unhappy environment, then we cry out, 'How can we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?' "
As is quite common, the family moves to a house in a poor neighborhood that they took possession of in payment of a debt sometime in the past. How they turn the house into a home and renew their family ties as they learn to support themselves is just part of the story. See if you can find the "patch of blue" as you're reading.