Monday, June 23, 2014

Mudbound by Hillary Jordan

I gave this book a 4 out of 5 stars on goodreads.  It is told from the various characters point of view.  Each chapter is a different character telling the story.  It is set in Mississippi during a time that I can only hope I would have made good choices and not been like some of the racist characters in this book.  It was hard to stomach at times because you know when you read things like this that it is how the time was back then.  Through the whole book, you have a sense that something bad is going to happen.  And, it does, but maybe not what all you expect.  Worth a read in my opinion.
Summary from
 In Jordan's prize-winning debut, prejudice takes many forms, both subtle and brutal. It is 1946, and city-bred Laura McAllan is trying to raise her children on her husband's Mississippi Delta farm—a place she finds foreign and frightening. In the midst of the family's struggles, two young men return from the war to work the land. Jamie McAllan, Laura's brother-in-law, is everything her husband is not—charming, handsome, and haunted by his memories of combat. Ronsel Jackson, eldest son of the black sharecroppers who live on the McAllan farm, has come home with the shine of a war hero. But no matter his bravery in defense of his country, he is still considered less than a man in the Jim Crow South. It is the unlikely friendship of these brothers-in-arms that drives this powerful novel to its inexorable conclusion.

The men and women of each family relate their versions of events and we are drawn into their lives as they become players in a tragedy on the grandest scale. As Kingsolver says of Hillary Jordan, "Her characters walked straight out of 1940s Mississippi and into the part of my brain where sympathy and anger and love reside, leaving my heart racing. They are with me still.

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