Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Literary Fiction

Finished August 31
Mudbound by Hillary Jordan
I got my copy of this book through Powell's Book's Indiespensable program and it has been sitting on my nightstand for a while before I began to read it. The story follows Laura McAllan, her husband Henry, his brother Jamie, their tenant farmers Hap and Florence Jackson, and the Jackson's son Ronsel. Each of these characters tells part of the story from their point of view, a story that ends, as we are told at the beginning of the book with the death and burial of Henry and Jamie's father Pappy. The voices are individual and each tells their own version of events, yet the tale never loses its flow. While we begin at the end, we quickly go back to the beginning and follow the story along arriving at the end again, this time more fully.
This is a story of culture and the difficulty of change, a story of relationships and their development, a story of both race and class. Set in the American South just after the Second World War, it is well told and the setting is really a character unto itself.

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