Mudbound by Hillary Jordan - 324 pages
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.
My Review: 4.5 stars
I loved the characters so much and truly felt that this author did a mighty fine job of speaking the 1st person for each of them as they told their story. I understand it took her 7 years to write this book and I'm glad it did because it was told with such intelligence and realism.
The parallel story of hate and oppression between the slaves in Mississippi and the Jews in the holocaust at the same time in the 1940’s worked well. This story will stay with you for some time.
Quotes I liked:
-“What we can't speak, we say in silence.”
-“That's what it is to love someone: to give whatever you can while taking what you must.”
-“The truth isn't so simple. Death may be inevitable, but love is not. Love, you have to choose.”
-“When that mama worry takes ahold of a woman you can't expect no sense from her. She'll do or say anything at all and you just better hope you ain't in her way. That's the Lord's doing right there. He made mothers to be like that on account of children need protecting and the men ain't around to do it most of the time. Helping that child be up to the mama. But God never gives us a task without giving us the means to see it through. That mama worry come straight from Him, it make it so she can't help but look after that child.”
-“This was the truth at the core of my existence: this yawning emptiness, scantily clad in rage. It had been there all along.”
-“You got to go along to get along.”
Tags: Historical Fiction, 2009, Book Club, WW2, Race
Labels: 2009, Book Club, Favorites, Historical Fiction, Race, WW2