jahensonlcsw, January 2, 2011 (view all comments by jahensonlcsw)
What a spell-binder re: black and white families in the MS Delta circa 1946! Jordan's people are so real, so compelling, THE best book for my 2010. History so relatively recent that its reality seems impossible; Mudbound vividly says this is the way it was, terror and all.
birgit, January 2, 2010 (view all comments by birgit)
With clear insight Jordan re-creates the "Jim Crow years" in the south.
The full scope of emotions get stirred; disgust and horror to amazing tenderness and care. Highly deserving of Barbara Kingsolver's Bellwether Prize for Literature of Social Change.
itpdx, April 2, 2009 (view all comments by itpdx)
This book really grabbed me.
It is about love--"mama worry" the fierce love of a mother for her children; brotherly love; the growth and maturing of love between spouses; soldierly love--the solidarity and support that only those who have "been there" can offer one another.
And it is set in a period of time of great tension and change in America's long, slow, sad saga of race relations.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No (3 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill -
by Barbara Kingsolver,
"This is storytelling at the height of its powers: the ache of wrongs not yet made right, the fierce attendance of history made as real as rain, as true as this minute. Hillary Jordan writes with the force of a Delta storm."
by Washington Post Book World,
"A compelling family tragedy, a confluence of romantic attraction and racial hatred that eventually falls like an avalanche....The last third of the book is downright breathless."
by People (starred review),
"[A] supremely readable debut novel....Fluidly narrated by engaging characters...Mudbound is packed with drama. Pick it up, then pass it on."
by Paste (starred review),
"An ambitious and affecting debut....Accessible, engaging and spiked with suspense....[A] tremendous gift."
This prize-winning novel 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.
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