Synopses & Reviews
A heart-stopping story--by an award-winning novelist--located at the dead center of Southern mythology and our most intransigent national trauma.
The Mississippi Delta, fabled South of the South, is replete with plantations carved from the wilderness, rich soil and King Cotton, with field chants and blues laments, violence and tragedy. In this austerely beautiful landscape,
by 1902, Reconstruction is being encroached upon by Jim Crow. And in the town of Loring, the tenure of a black postmistress is compromised when the prodigal son of a once mighty planting family returns home. A gambler run
out of luck and a great many venues, he finds his diminished prospects as unappealing as the political moderation of his brother, now both mayor and editor of the newspaper. Their fraternal tension quickly spreads through the countryside--some citizens striving for the better world ostensibly promised, others for the vestigial antebellum order. Caught squarely in the center of this tortured dynamic is the postmistress herself, her fate further complicated when President Roosevelt, on federal grounds, intervenes personally.
And so this local, even familial dispute inevitably erupts, fueled by all the dark, brutal memories of slavery, civil war and emancipation. In this crucible of race relations and mythology, people black and white alike are tested relentlessly by history and human nature, by passions at once ambivalent and fierce. And with this masterful novel, Steve Yarbrough confronts character with morality, love with hatred, reason with blood--and with great authority and compassion he extends a rich tradition of our national literature.
In Loring, Mississippi, circa 1902, the tenure of a black postmistress is compromised by the prodigal son of a once proud planting family. So when President Roosevelt intervenes, this local, even personal dispute inevitably erupts, fueled by all the dark, brutal memories of slavery, war, and emancipation.