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The Promised Land

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3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  46 ratings  ·  9 reviews
It’s 1966, just two years after President Lyndon Baines Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law, and twelve-year-old Joy Bradford’s life is changing dramatically. Born and raised in the white suburbs of Connecticut, Joy is moving to Willets Point, Florida to live with her mother Jessica because her parents are divorcing. Hoping it really is the Promised Land that her ...more
Paperback, 423 pages
Published January 13th 2012 by SJT Press
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Jimmy
Southern Strife is such a well written novel, I literally had a hard time putting it down, a lot of us say this when reviewing a book, but when it comes to one that runs your emotions from one extreme to the other while holding your attention, the statement is absolutely true.

Valerie Stocking tells a mixture of a coming of age story mixed with the racial tensions a lot of us witnessed during the 1960’s, take a twelve year old girl new to town making friends with a biracial boy at school and the
...more
Joey Pinkney
“Southern Strife: A Novel of Racial Tension in the 1960s” is Valerie Stocking’s sophomore effort. The notion of “sophomore slump” does not apply. This novel is a powerful portrayal of America’s not-so-distant history in dealing with the false concept of this country being a melting pot.

“Southern Strife” is refreshingly offensive. I say that because Valerie Stocking sculpted the characters in a realistic manner and not in a way that would fit in a neat, little box. Stocking’s portrayal of racism
...more
Kathleen Kelly
The Promised Land is about a 12 year old girl who is not attractive, is not popular in school and has no friends to speak of. She is a very smart girl who is stymied in the school she is in because of her intelligence. Joy's parents are in the process of a divorce and her mother Jessica moves them from Connecticut to Florida where life there in the 60's is totally different than what she is accustomed to.
Clytus Dooley is a black man who wants to open up a clothing store in the 'white' section o
...more
L.C. Hayden
THE PROMISED LAND is an absolutely absorbing coming-of-age novel set in the mid-60's. The story is basically told from 12 year old Joy Bradford's viewpoint. Her parents have just gotten divorced and Joy and her mother move to Willets Point, Florida. There, Joy finds a town torn apart by racial hatred and violence. Things are stirred when Clytus,a well-educated African American, moves to an all-white neighborhood and wants to open a clothing store in the white section of town. To complicate matt ...more
Stacie
Stocking's story evolves over a very critical period in our history. What plays out in the story is at times difficult to grasp and stomach. It really saddens me to read of the horrors that were done to African American people in America. Unfortunately, I am sure these stories are just a few of the thousands that were perpetuated all across the south.

This book is full of many themes including mental illness, racism, parenting, the 1960's, and teen issues. I can imagine book clubs having really d
...more
Paul Garrett
I was drawn to this book because it is set in the year I finished high school and started college and because that was the period in which I'd thought we turned the page on vicious, overt racism. The election cycle that has nearly ended proves that history repeats itself; we need to see the horrors that racism has brought in the past if we are to fight it in the future. The story is set in a small Florida town where segregation is challenged by one family. The Klan does what "decency" requires T ...more
Melanie
The seriousness of this time in history so often comes back to haunt us. I feel for the characters in the novel . For Joy who just wants to have a friend. Who wants to be loved for who she is, and to escape the harshness of her mother. For Clay, smart and kind but biracial in a time where that is unaccepted. Clytus, Clay's father who wants to better himself and his family's livelihood but is shot down by racist groups. Calls each of it's readers to consider their own levels of racism and bigotry ...more
Mary
It started out pretty slow. I enjoyed it as Joy and Clay became more of the central theme with less of the Jessica and her liasons.
Kathee
I really liked it. Well written. Horrible to know it happened, but true subject matter.
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4200040
I began writing when I was five years old and won my first short story competition at the age of eight. In 1966, my mother and I moved from Connecticut to a small town in Florida, where I encountered difficulties with the public school system, bigotry and bullying; I left a year later. It was this year (1966-67) that served as the inspiration for "The Promised Land." I went on to graduate from hig ...more
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