Reading Recommendations: The Known World, Edward P. Jones
Henry Townsend, a black farmer, bookmaker, and former slave, has a fondness for Paradise Lost and an unusual mentor, William Robbins, perhaps the most powerful man in antebellum Virginia's Manchester County. Under Robbin's tutelage, Henry becomes proprietor of his own plantation, as well as of his own slaves. When he dies, his widow, Caldonia, succumbs to profound grief, and things begin to fall apart at their plantation: slaves take to escaping under the cover of night, and families who had once found love beneath the weight of slavery begin to betray one another. Beyond the Townsend estate: the Known world also unravels: low paid white patrollers stand watch as slave "speculators" sell free black people into slavery, and rumors of slave rebellions set white families against slaves who have served them for years.
The Known World weaves together the lives of freed and enslaved blacks, whites, and Indians–and allows all of us a deeper understanding of the enduring multidimensional world created by the institution of slavery.
Credits include: 2003 Pulitzer Prize Winner-Fiction; 2003 National Book Award-Finalist; New York Times Editor's Choice Pick; Today Show Pick; 2003 National Book Critics Circle Award Winner; Pen/Hemingway Award Winner
Thanks, Janis Bull. This book from the older bookshelves is everything you described and more.
And, Multiple Blessings, Surviving to Thriving with Twins and Sextuplets, Jon and Kate Gosselin and Beth Carson
After the emotional rollercoaster ride of dealing with infertility, Kate and her husband, Jon, rejoiced in the birth of their twin daughters. Three years later, she was pregnant again, with sextuplets. Their quiver was filling fast, a little too fast, and being happy wasn't exactly their first reaction.
"I blinked hard and then stared at the bright screen positioned slightly to my right. There was no mistaking what I saw, yet I was in a state of denial. My doctor began his fateful count. One–aaah. Two–okay. Three–now I was scared. Four–I started sobbing hysterically. The chill of reality washed over me as I watched my husband, my best friend, cheerleader, and storehouse of strength, slowly drop to his knees at the count of five, but the count continued."
And this is the story of slogging through exhaustive challenges, coping with set backs, and trusting that God will provide the strength and resilience to get through each day.
And, All The Living, a novel, C.E. Morgan
One summer, a young woman travels to the isolated tobacco farm her lover has inherited after his family dies in an accident. As Orren works to save the farm from drought, Aloma struggles with the loneliness of farm life and tries to find her way in a combative charged relationship with a grieving taciturn man. A budding friendship with a handsome and dynamic young preacher further complicates her growing sense of dissatisfaction. As she considers whether to stay with Orren or to leave, she grapples with the finality of loss and death and the eternal question of whether it is better to fight for freedom or to submit to love.
All The Living has the timeless quality of a parable, but it is also a perfect evocation of a time and place, a portrait of both age-old conflicts and modern life. It is an ode to the starve-acre Southern Farm, the mountain landscape, and difficult love.
C.E. Morgan certainly has a way with words. As one of the new young writers, I predict we will hear from her again–A bit raw at times, Morgan gets the rhythm of the local dialect just right as well as the killing farming Kentucky lifestyle.
See you at Rylander!