Sunday, August 2, 2009

Summer Reading: Mudbound by Hillary Jordan

I hope to return to the knit-blogging soon, but apparently my "Knitting Mojo" has taken a hike, hopefully a temporary the meanwhile, I read a really good book.

Mudbound by Hillary Jordan showed up on last year's NPR Summer Reading List but I never got around to reading it. This year, I remembered the title, and I am very glad that I requested it from the Library.

Mudbound is the story of a community of families in the 1940's, in Mississippi. The book gives perspectives of rural southern farm life from the points of view of all members of a white land-owning farm family, as well as from the members of the family of neighboring black tenant-farmers. It describes how life is hard for all of them, and the racism, sexism and social injustice which pervades the culture of post-WWII southern America. The author develops her characters and tells the story so well that I found myself crying outwardly while reading the book, and once it made my so mad that I had to put the book down. I won't say the book was "enjoyable" because of the gravity of the subject matter, but it certainly drew me in and wouldn't let me go until I finished the book. It's not easy to read, but it is certainly thought-provoking and I highly recommend it.

Edited to Add: It's 4am and I am in the process of losing sleep over a particularly disturbing scene of violence toward the end of the book. I don't want to say more and spoil the story for you, but I thought you should know. Damn this visual imagination of mine!

No comments: