When Henry McAllan moves his city-bred wife, Laura, to a cotton farm in the Mississippi Delta in 1946, she finds herself in a place both foreign and frightening. Henry's love of rural life is not shared by Laura, who struggles to raise their two young children in an isolated shotgun shack under the eye of her hateful, racist father-in-law. When it ...Read MoreWhen Henry McAllan moves his city-bred wife, Laura, to a cotton farm in the Mississippi Delta in 1946, she finds herself in a place both foreign and frightening. Henry's love of rural life is not shared by Laura, who struggles to raise their two young children in an isolated shotgun shack under the eye of her hateful, racist father-in-law. When it rains, the waters rise up and swallow the bridge to town, stranding the family in a sea of mud. As the Second World War shudders to an end, two young men return from Europe to help work the farm. Jamie McAllan is everything his older brother Henry is not and is sensitive to Laura's plight, but also haunted by his memories of combat. Ronsel Jackson, eldest son of the black sharecroppers who live on the farm, comes home from war with the shine of a hero, only to face far more dangerous battles against the ingrained bigotry of his own countrymen. These two unlikely friends become players in a tragedy on the grandest scale.Read Less
Good story of what life was like during this time in the farmlands of the south. Story of young men, black and white, who served in WWI and the effects of that experience when they returned home. Worthwhile reading.
Oct 29, 2009
a story of survival
Everyone must figure out how to survive in a hostile world. Each one discovers thier way to find warmth and comfort against all odds. It also helps to understand the struggles against racism in the South after WWII. I never realized how hard it must have been for the African American soldiers to come back home and be treated with such hostility, after serving thier country and being accepted without reservation in Europe.
Aug 17, 2008
Life in the Rural South after WWII
The author does an amazing job of capturing the voice of her characters to paint a picture of life in a time during which racisim was not only acceptable, but expected. It is critical that we, as a nation and a people, remember the insanity and unneccesary violence of or ethnically devisive past so that we are NOT doomed to repeat it. This book is a window into that world which would benefit those who remember it as well as those who cannot truly believe that it existed.
Aug 15, 2008
Sad but satisfying book
An enjoyable book. Jordan captured the deep emotions and culture of the 1940s racially-divided south. The McAllans slog through the fields of strained family relationships and maneuver the murky waters of racism and friendship as they build a new home in Mississippi. Laura McAllan?s strong will and spirit carries her through the most dire family circumstances toward a hopeful future. Through the eyes of Ronsel Jackson, a Black sharecropper?s son, we are brought face-to-face with the tragedy of racial hatred. The story captures life from both sides and leaves us with hope for new beginnings.
Apr 9, 2008
What a great story,told in alternating perspectives ,by an accomplished first time author. Truly wonderful and horrific at the same time, this novel builds to a stunning climax without being preachy or condescending. I truly enjoyed it and would highly recommend to anyone.
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