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Wednesday, March 5, 2008


I must confess that I haven't read much Southern Fiction lately. I have been swimming in a sea of intrigue (I cannot get enough of Tudor England) and blood (I have taken over the mystery section)! That being said, I wasn't really sure that I was going to like Mudbound when Joe brought me an advanced copy and asked me to take a look at it. I took it home to read a few chapters over the weekend and came back to work on Monday having finished the book and let everyone know that I loved it!

The story takes place in the Mississippi Delta in 1946. It centers around two families, The McAllans and The Jacksons. The Jacksons are share tenants on the McAllan's recently purchased farm. Laura McAllan is trying to learn "the ropes" of country living and enlists the help of Florence Jackson to help her around the house. Both families have family members fighting in the war, Laura's bother-in-law, Jamie and Ronsel, the eldest Jackson son. Both men come home around the same time and develop a secret friendship that causes trouble for both families. "The men and women of each family relate their versions of events as they see them, and we are drawn into their lives as they become players in a tragedy on the grandest scale."

Hillary Jordan grew up in Texas and Oklahoma. Mudbound is her first novel and has been awarded the 2006 Bellwether Prize, founded by Barbara Kingslover to recognize literature of social responsibility. She will be signing and reading at Lemuria on Thursday, March 20, 2008 at 5:00. Please come by and congratulate her on this novel whose characters and storyline will stay with you long after you have finished this story of the Jim Crow South.

"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." --Barbara Kingsolver