Daniel Hatch, March 19, 2010 (view all comments by Daniel Hatch)
A fantastic read, the varying POV style lets you relive events from the perspective of serveral of the major characters. Well deserving of its award. You won't be disappointed.
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katatrina, August 5, 2008 (view all comments by katatrina)
This was just as good as NPR promised it would be. Hillary Jordan is great at delivering the different voices that this book is told in, and the story is rich and well-developed. Sometimes when a book is told in parts by different people, I want to skip ahead to the next section told by one of them, but in this book I didn't have that problem.
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sstroo, July 16, 2008 (view all comments by sstroo)
This was a singularly amazing book, unexpected at the time but now I can't get it out of my head as I go about my day. It seemed to by the end, as though this was a story that had always existed somewhere, painfully dwelling in the shadows of southern history, waiting for someone to bring it out and tell it to the world. Every detail, every word was necessary-- nothing pretentious or extraneous. There was a vaguely Shakespearean element to the way the story all came together, the lust, anger, betrayal-- such raw and ugly emotions and yet, such a compelling and beautiful story. This book is not to be missed, but it is a challenge to keep your eyes on the page and call to us all, I believe, to continue to embody the good we believe is out there.
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awisehart, June 5, 2008 (view all comments by awisehart)
This is a compelling, engrossing novel about life in 1940s rural Mississippi. It was hard to put down. The characters are vivid and complex, well drawn. The story is told from the point of view of six different characters, and for this reason the narration is occasionally choppy, but it's well developed. A beautifully written story about prejudice. Hillary Jordan digs deeply into the lives of her characters, taking an unflinching and complex approach.
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Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill -
by Booklist (Starred Review),
"[A] sophisticated, complex first novel."
by Paste Magazine,
"Mudbound, an ambitious and affecting debut, may very well become a staple of syllabi for courses in Southern literature. It is accessible, engaging and spiked with suspense."
by Library Journal,
"[A] poignant and moving debut novel....Jordan faultlessly portrays the values of the 1940s as she builds to a stunning conclusion. Highly recommended."
by Kirkus Reviews,
"The perils of country living are brought to light in a confidently executed novel."
by Stewart O'Nan,
"A real page turner — a tangle of history, tragedy and romance powered by guilt, moral indignation and a near chorus of unstoppable voices. Any reader will appreciate the overlap of forbidden loves and deadly secrets."
Winner of the Bellwether Prize for Fiction, Mudbound is storytelling at the height of its powers: "the ache of wrongs not yet made right, the fierce attendance of history made real" (Barbara Kingsolver), as men and women from two families become players in a tragedy on the grandest scale.
A gripping and exquisitely rendered story of forbidden love, betrayal, and murder, set against the brutality of the Jim Crow South.
When Henry McAllan moves his city-bred wife, Laura, to a cotton farm in the Mississippi Delta in 1946, she finds herself in a place both foreign and frightening. Laura does not share Henry's love of rural life, and she struggles to raise their two young children in an isolated shotgun shack with no indoor plumbing or electricity, all the while under the eye of her hateful, racist father-in-law. When it rains, the waters rise up and swallow the bridge to town, stranding the family in a sea of mud.
As the McAllans are being tested in every way, two celebrated soldiers of World War II return home to help work the farm. Jamie McAllan is everything his older brother Henry is not: charming, handsome, and sensitive to Laura's plight, but also haunted by his memories of combat. Ronsel Jackson, eldest son of the black sharecroppers who live on the McAllan farm, comes home from fighting the Nazis with the shine of a war hero, only to face far more personal—and dangerous—battles against the ingrained bigotry of his own countrymen. It is the unlikely friendship of these two brothers-in-arms, and the passions they arouse in others, that drive this powerful debut novel. Mudbound reveals how everyone becomes a player in a tragedy on the grandest scale, even as they strive for love and honor.
Jordan's indelible portrayal of two families caught up in the blind hatred of a small Southern town earned the prestigious Bellwether Prize for Fiction, awarded biennially to a first literary novel that addresses issues of social injustice.
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.