WE ARE ALL GOOD PEOPLE HERE by SUSAN REBECCA WHITE

We Are All Good People Here

From the days of JFK to the early days of Clinton, this story of two young women growing up and becoming adults during a tumultuous time in our history.

Coming from totally different backgrounds, Eve and Daniella, meet at school and are soon finding a sense of belonging while also having their eyes opened to the harshness and unfairness of life in the South and beyond. Racism is an ugly thing. And sometimes the more you try and help, the worse things become.

From school to their own children, they take very different approaches to life, with Eve making some choices that may come back to haunt them all.

Great read. A hard read. Will we ever be able to see beyond color and class?

I’m not sure but I’m glad I read this.

Well Done!

NetGalley/ August 6th, 2019 by Atria Books

Tomorrow’s Bread by ANNA JEAN MAYHEW

Tomorrow's Bread

From the author of the acclaimed, The Dry Grass of August comes a richly researched yet lyrical Southern-set novel that explores the conflicts of gentrification—a moving story of loss, love, and resilience.

It’s 1961 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The neighborhood of Brooklyn is almost entirely made up of black families and businesses. While there are a lot of run down and shabby homes and storefronts, Loraylee Hawkins lives in a nice home with her grandmother, her uncle and her son, Hawk. She works a full-time job and cares for her grandmother and her son.

Loarylee works at a cafeteria and is involved with her boss. A white man. All very secret, after all this is the South in the early ’60s.

The city of Charlotte has declared Brooklyn a blight on the city and has decided to do some gentrification. Which we all know means bulldozing every house and business and putting in buildings no one can afford. This is their home. They were born here and many died here. But now even the graveyard is being removed in the name of progress.

This is a very familiar story for those of us raised in the deep south. The strength of the characters of this cast was extraordinary. This was a community that supported each other, a family that stood their ground and fought for a better life and for respect.

I am so glad I read this one and I highly recommend it!

Kensington Publishers

 

 

 

 

PRAY FOR THE GIRL by JOSEPH SOUZA

Pray for the Girl

Fawn Grove, Maine is a small town full of small-minded people. It’s been a long time since Lucy Abbott has come back to her hometown and some things have changed and some are fighting change.

The refugees who have settled here are not wanted. There is so much tension you could cut it with a knife. Everyone seems to be prejudiced and duplicitous. Kids, adults, no one is being honest.

After suffering in Afghanistan, Lucy is hiding her identity from everyone but her immediate family. No one in town recognizes her. After what happened to her over there she is having trouble just leaving her room.

She can’t let go of the crimes happening in her own town. An Afghani girl buried up to her neck and stoned. A boy with his throat slit and an Islamic symbol left behind. Who is behind all of this hate and violence?

Well let me tell you this, the second half of the book there is a huge WOW! And the Wows just keep coming after that. The teenagers, including her own niece are absolutely despicable and you will have to read it to see just how bad they are.

One ending I did not see coming!

NetGalley/  April 30th 2019 by Kensington Publishing Corporation

 

 

 

 

THE SISTERS by ROSALIND NOONAN

The Sisters

This was an emotional read from the beginning. My heart broke for Glory. Even though I felt she had other choices.

What made this even more heartbreaking is this is still happening today. There are quite a few sensitive subjects in this book but that’s life. The author has written a beautiful and deeply moving account of what family is.

I enjoyed the different points of view and I look forward to reading more from Noonan.

Well Done!’

Netgalley/ November 27th 2018 by Kensington Publishing Corporation

RUSH a novel by LISA PATTON

Rush

Set in modern-day Oxford, Mississippi, on the Ole Miss campus, bestselling author Lisa Patton’s RUSH is a story about women—from both ends of the social ladder—discovering their voices, courage and empowerment. 

When Lilith Whitmore, the well-heeled House Corp President of Alpha Delta Beta, one of the premiere sororities on campus, appoints recent empty-nester Wilda to the Rush Advisory Board, Wilda can hardly believe her luck. What’s more, Lilith suggests their daughters, both incoming freshman, room together. What Wilda doesn’t know is that it’s all part of Lilith’s plan to ensure her own daughter receives an Alpha Delt bid—no matter what.

Cali Watkins possesses all the qualities sororities are looking for in a potential new member. She’s kind and intelligent, makes friends easily, even plans to someday run for governor. But her resume lacks a vital ingredient. Pedigree. Without family money Cali’s chances of sorority membership are already thin, but she has an even bigger problem. If anyone discovers the dark family secrets she’s hiding, she’ll be dropped from Rush in an instant.

For twenty-five years, Miss Pearl—as her “babies” like to call her—has been housekeeper and a second mother to the Alpha Delt girls, even though it reminds her of a painful part of her past she’ll never forget. When an opportunity for promotion arises, it seems a natural fit. But Lilith Whitmore slams her Prada heel down fast, crushing Miss Pearl’s hopes of a better future. When Wilda and the girls find out, they devise a plan destined to change Alpha Delta Beta—and maybe the entire Greek system—forever.

Achingly poignant, yet laugh-out-loud funny, RUSH takes a sharp nuanced look at a centuries-old tradition while exploring the complex, intimate relationships between mothers and daughters and female friends. Brimming with heart and hope for a better tomorrow, RUSH is an uplifting novel universal to us all.

The above is the entire blurb. I did not have one laugh out loud moment, but I did have a lot of uncomfortable ones. I noticed that the author herself is a Alabama graduate but set the story in Ole Miss because everyone loves them. Really? As someone who lived in Mississippi and taught in Mississippi, I sent my children out-of-state for college.

The characters were very superficial and the only one I cared for was Wilda’s husband.

I’m not sure if this was supposed to be funny but it came off as shallow and insensitive. The Greek system is full of racism, elitism and needs to be done away with. You are in college to learn, and the only way to do that is by interacting with people different from you. Generational Racism is alive and well on the majority of campuses. And to say there has never been a black house mother in the SEC is shameful.

I would not recommend this book.

Netgalley/ St.Martin’s Press  August 21, 2018

Sing, Unburied,Sing A Novel by Jesmyn Ward Release Day Congratulation!

Sing, Unburied, Sing

From National Book Award-winner for Salvage The Bones, Jesmyn Ward brings us this look at a place that I am very familiar with. The Gulf Coast of Mississippi. Ms. Ward uses language that pulls you in and makes you see, makes you feel. What an amazing gift she has!

Jojo, who is 13 and his toddler sister, Kayla and Leonie, their drug addicted mother live with Mam and Pop on a farm along the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. Mam is dying of cancer and Leonie is rarely there. She spends most of her time getting high and talking to her dead brother. She is about as unfit to be a mother as the yard dog.

Their father, Michael is currently a guest of the state, at Parchman. Parchman is not a place anyone would go willingly. For years mothers have used it as a way to keep teenagers in line. Just a drive by and you know it’s not a good place. Michael is also white, while Leonie and her parents are black. His family wants nothing to do with Leonie or their grandchildren. But Leonie loves him even though his own family killed her brother and covered up the murder.

When Michael is released from Parchman, Leonie takes the children and her best friend and heads north to pick him up. And on the trip back, it looks like Michael wasn’t’ the only one to get in the car with them. Richie, a spirit, has hitched a ride. He knows Jojo can lead him to Pops and he needs to know what happened to him in Parchman and how he died.

This portrait of Mississippi past and present is one of the most moving, raw, and beautiful stories I have read. Being from the Gulf Coast and knowing The Kill, their claim to fame being the home of Brett Favre and an odd bar with bras on the ceiling, this book made me cry, it actually was painful to read some parts because the author is so brutally honest about a subject few talk about. At least not in Mississippi.

You can pretty it up on the outside, but at the core, it’s still goes on everyday, the racism, the sense that they aren’t as good.

This story of loss, and family and prejudice was heart wrenching. The strength of the characters enduring burdens they should never have had to bear. There is no fairness, no equality, no respect for another human being, and yet they all endure. They keep moving.

Pops was my favorite character in this novel. The way he quietly took what ever came his way and made the best of it. Besides Leonie, the rest of the family never complained, whined or bucked the system in place. They just put their heads down and did what needed to be done.

Thank You to Netgalley and Scribner for this beautiful novel.