Sunday, August 2, 2009

Mudbound by Hillary Jordan (novel)

Mudbound by Hillary Jordan: In this debut novel set in post WWII Mississipi, Hillary Jordan writes convincingly in the six different voices of the main characters, who include a man bent on being a farmer, his lovelorn brother damaged in his soul by the war, his unwilling wife, a black tenant farmer, his wife, and their son who fought heroically in the war but comes home to the same old prejudices which dictate how a person is treated depending on the color of his or her skin. Set in the deep south in an era in which active racial hatred was very much alive, this novel tells the story of a white family trying to tame the land on which they live while quietly fighting their inner demons, and how they ultimately cause the destruction of the black tenant family eking out an existence on their land.

I was sucked into this story from the very first line and could hardly put it down; it took me four days to make my way through its 340 pages. The author writes so convincingly in both the male and female voices, as well as in white and black voices. It's hard not to like most of the characters, while still seeing their very realistic human flaws.

I really loved this book! I can't offer it up for grabs here, unfortunately, as it's the current reading selection of my book club, so I am obliged to pass it along to someone there. However, if you're looking for a good book to read, I highly recommend this one!

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