In his long-awaited debut novel, an acclaimed essayist weaves a richly textured and complex tale from the threads of actual events. Set in rural South Carolina in the early 20th century, "Daughter of My People" is the story of the ties of land, blood, and honor that bind and threaten to destroy two families.In his long-awaited debut novel, an acclaimed essayist weaves a richly textured and complex tale from the threads of actual events. Set in rural South Carolina in the early 20th century, "Daughter of My People" is the story of the ties of land, blood, and honor that bind and threaten to destroy two families.Read Less
Publishers Weekly, 1998-02-23 Set in South Carolina's Savannah River low country in 1918 and based on events from the author's family history, this strong first novel from acclaimed essayist Kilgo (Deep Enough for Ivorybills) chronicles the scandalous, ill-starred love between Hart Bonner, scion of a prominent white family, and Jennie Grant, a beautiful mulatto who is his cousin. For 17 years, the lovers have kept their affair hidden from the disapproving eyes of family and community, meeting in woods or barns or in Jennie's tiny servant's cabin. But then TisonĉHart's awkward, celibate older half-brotherĉaccidentally spies Jennie bathing and grows obsessed with her himself. Unhappy with Hart's sometimes cavalier inattention, Jennie is flattered by Tison's interest. But, nearly 30 years her senior and socially unskilled, Tison unwittingly shames her with his clumsy, money- smirched overtures. Overcome with jealousy and anxious to rekindle Jennie's love, Hart is eager for a chance to defend Jennie's honor, hurtling the story toward its defining tragedy. Written in deceptively simple prose that has the intimate flow of oral history, Kilgo's novel gives readers a moving, searching look into the hearts of persuasively flawed characters. Author tour. (May)
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