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3.99  ·  Rating Details  ·  42,027 Ratings  ·  4,531 Reviews
In Jordan's prize-winning debut, prejudice takes many forms, both subtle and brutal. It is 1946, and city-bred Laura McAllan is trying to raise her children on her husband's Mississippi Delta farm—a place she finds foreign and frightening. In the midst of the family's struggles, two young men return from the war to work the land. Jamie McAllan, Laura's brother-in-law, is e ...more
Hardcover, 328 pages
Published March 4th 2008 by Algonquin Books (first published January 1st 2008)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Feb 23, 2008 Hillary rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
I wrote this book so I can hardly be expected to be objective!
Jan 21, 2009 Eleanor rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
I had sworn off any and all novels dealing with racial themes set in the South. There is only so much self-flagellating I can do in a year in penance for things in which I had no part. Certainly I realize that the theme is worth exploring, and that if you want to write a book set in the South, especially between the years covering Reconstruction through the Civil Rights era, race is going to play a part. This is all well and good, and admirable in that examining the past through the gauze of fic ...more
Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
Social justice (and literature) lite

This book and I hit it off at first. It’s a quick, easy read and I enjoyed the first 2/3 or so. But looking back, I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.

Mudbound is about two families living in the Mississippi Delta: one black and one white. It’s 1946 and racial tensions are high: the black GIs returning from WW2 are no longer willing to put up with being second-class citizens, but the white population is equally unwilling to allow change. The book is written in th
Dec 03, 2011 Marleen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Aren’t there times you wish you could give a book more than 5 stars? Like The Help or The Kitchen House, this is one of those books I guess which will continue to resonate, and linger in the mind. It's told by each character in turn, so we hear lots of different voices as the tale progresses, and we can witness the way they see the events unfolding. It reads a bit like a thriller, where the tension is building up and you know something bad is going to happen.
It's set in the Delta (Mississippi)
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
May 10, 2009 Jeanette "Astute Crabbist" rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jeanette by: Rach
There's a lot of depth here for such a fast, cleanly-written read. Several themes are woven into the lives of the various characters.
First, the senseless intensity of the racism in the deep South of the 1940s. Second, the haunted struggles of men who came home from WWII and couldn't make a place for themselves back among their own people. Third, the frustration and loneliness of an isolated Mississippi farm wife, building into desperation and rage. The combination of these difficulties causes t
Will Byrnes
Sep 15, 2008 Will Byrnes rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 29, 2008 Karlan rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: adults
Recommended to Karlan by: ALA galley
This is a fast paced moving novel with several narrators. Set in the deep south immediately after WWII, the story examines the lives of hardworking farmers, passionate wives, members of the KKK, and the returning soldiers both black and white. The characters are fascinating and seemed real to me. I didn't want to see the story end.
Tea Jovanović
This wonderful books was a pleasant surprise for me... Must read... You would think that with Uncle Tom's Cabin and with Roots we had enough of such topics... but no... Unfortunately due to no marketing efforts from the publisher the book went unnoticed on Serbian market... Pity, great book!
Mudbound: Hillary Jordan's Debut Novel

 photo Hillary_jordan_2011_zps5608af94.jpg
Hillary Jordan, 2011


"Henry and I dug the hole seven feet deep. Any more shallower and the corpse was liable to come rising up during the next big flood. Howdy boys! Remember me? The thought of it kept us digging even after the blisters on our palms had burst, re-formed and burst again. Every shovelful was an agony--the old man getting in his last licks. Still, I was glad of the pain. It shoved away thoughts and memories."

Henry and Jamie McAllan are
Mudbound is a story set in the Mississippi delta country in 1946. It is about complex relations between a white family that owns the land and a black family that helps to farm the land. It is also about war and the Jim Crow conditions that existed in the South during that era.

Hillary Jordan, in her debut novel, took on the daunting task of presenting the story through the eyes of six different narrators. That would seem to be difficult enough, but making it even more difficult is the fact that t
Jan 18, 2016 Melodie rated it really liked it
I approached this book with some trepidation. I knew this was going to be a raw read and wasn't sure if I was up for it. Within five pages,I was in up to my neck, totally engaged. YES, it was a tough read. I was angry most of the time, and when I wasn't angry, I despaired of the characters ability to escape the vortex of racism and despair that engulfed them.
The story line revolves around the McAllans as they try to make something of a ramshackle farm in the delta and the Jackson family, one o
Mar 29, 2009 Tracy rated it liked it
Sad little book :-( Was it really like that? Probably. People are so inhuman.

I liked this line, from the midwife "When I met Laura McAllan she was out of her head with mama worry. When that mama worry takes ahold of a woman you can't expect no sense from her. She'll do or say anything at all and you just better hope you ain't in her way. That's the Lord's doing right there. He made mothers to be like that on account of children need protecting and the men ain't around to do it most of the time
Apr 21, 2008 Amy rated it it was amazing
I simply could not stop reading this book! Combining several voices the story traces a tragic incident in post World War II Mississippi. Not only does this book address Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome and the hardships of farming life, it also covers class issues, family issues, sexism and racism. These are characters I will not soon forget!
Nov 22, 2015 Ashley rated it it was amazing
While Mudbond was an inspiring story about post World War 2 Mississippi, the reality of the content was hard to take in. Don't get me wrong, this was a great, action-packed book, but some parts were so violent and disturbing that I had to brace myself to read on. In the Delta, whites believed that they were better then their African American counterparts. The premise of the book was to explain the tension between races on the local scale, and how the war changed the way America worked.

As a fell
Jan 21, 2013 Noeleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mudbound, a debut novel by Hillary Jordan, is set on a Mississippi farm in the aftermath of World War II. It tells the story of the McAllan and Jackson families. The story is told from the viewpoints of the six main characters, Laura McAllan, her husband Henry, her brother-in-law Jamie, Florence Jackson, her husband Hap and her son Ronsel. Although Henry and Jamie's father plays a key role in this story, it is interesting and significant that Jordan chooses not to give him a voice. He is the onl ...more
Mar 14, 2008 Jenny marked it as to-read
Like millions of other NPR Morning Edition listeners, I learned that Hillary Jordan's first book, Mudbound, is the 2008 recipient of the Bellweather Prize, founded by Barbara Kingsolver, author of The Poisonwood Bible (which I haven't read, but am familiar with). After hearing the description and listening to excerpts, I was reminded of Faulkner's As I Lay Dying, one of my favorite works of American literature--the voices are unforgettable, the story line disturbing and real. I'm looking forward ...more
Jan 03, 2015 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, read-2013
A fast paced read set in post WW2 1946 on a Mississippi farm depicting the on-going struggles of a black American family and the horrid prejudices and brutality they had to endure despite the friendship that grows between Jamie of the McAllan family and Ronsel, son of their black sharecroppers.

Great debut novel for Hillary Jordan! A real page-turner that was over too soon.(view spoiler)

This is a very powerful, well-written novel, the story of life on a Mississippi delta hardscrabble farm just after World War II. It is presented in the format of alternating narrators who carry the tale from their individual viewpoint--farm owner, city bred woman-now farm wife, black farm worker's wife and also herbalist and midwife. Then there are the returning men of war--the airman hero brother of the farmer and the black tank squadron hero who served under Patton, who is the son of the midwi ...more
Dec 17, 2011 K rated it liked it
This is one of those times where I understand the book's high ratings; I just don't completely share the enthusiasm.

In this novel Laura, an aging single woman of the 1940s, ends up marrying Henry, a decent older man whom she likes but doesn't feel particularly passionate about. When a surprising turn of events leads Henry to buy a Mississippi farm, Laura is forced to move out there with her two small children. Adding insult to injury, she then must take in her racist, unpleasant father-in-law.
As I started this book, I had a feeling in my gut that said..."this is not going to end well". This is a hard story, and probably so true for many who returned from World War II, and for black families in the "Jim Crow South" (and the white families as well) Each chapter is told by a different character and Jordan captures their separate voices perfectly. You could "hear" their background, the cadence of their language, their acceptance of what life had dealt them...what they could and could no ...more
May 20, 2015 ☯Cathrine rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
4.5 enthusiastic stars! What a great read. When you have read for as long as I have, certain subject matter becomes wearisome. So I was really surprised how much I loved this book. And because she sums it up perfectly, I share Eleanor's wonderful review.
Ruth Turner
Sep 03, 2014 Ruth Turner rated it it was amazing
Shelves: southern-lit

I can't begin to say how much I loved this book. It's well written and fast paced, with wonderful characters that I loved, even if I didn't like them.

"When She Woke" is my next read, and I hope it's as amazing as "Mudbound".

Dave Gaston
The starting pace of Mudbound’s smoldering southern class drama allowed the reader to enjoy Jordon’s descriptive writing and southern dialog. And at first blush, Jordon’s use of rotating the first first person account of an overlapping story was a refreshing literary device. But somewhere half way through the book the wheels fell off. Jordon’s sub plots started over-reaching to the point of wild sensationalism. There is a sidecar story of incest and a resulting mother’s demented double murder of ...more
Charlene Intriago
I had not read any reviews of this book before I bought it for my Kindle and was surprised to find it was such a good book. It covered a lot of ground since it was set in the mid 1940's (just after WWII) in a small rural community in the Jim Crow South. I loved how the book unfolded with the author alternating chapters among the six main characters letting each of them tell their side of the story. I think this would be a really good read for a book club. There's lots to discuss.

Diane S ⛄
Jan 13, 2013 Diane S ⛄ rated it it was amazing
I first read this author's second novel, "When she woke" and being a Scarlet Letter fan I really enjoyed this modern day take on that novel. When I saw she had a first novel, I put it on my TBR and there it remained until as a New Year's resolution I decided to read at least two book from my TBR each month. This novel blew me away, I became emotionally involved in these characters and their lives. Two strong women, one white, one black, different circumstances but both with a strong love for the ...more
Wilhelmina Jenkins
Jan 21, 2010 Wilhelmina Jenkins rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novel
The voices ring true. This is one of the highest compliments that I can pay to a book, particularly when those voices include black people and white people, male and female. Jordan, who is white, has said in interviews that she worked hard to write authentic black voices and her work definitely paid off. These characters were believable, complex, and individual. This novel is set in post-WWII Mississippi and is told from 6 viewpoints. Jordan's characters could easily have been 2-dimensional ster ...more
Read 10/26/11; reread 10/6/13.

"Soft citybred woman like Laura McAllan weren't meant for living in the Delta. Delta'll take a woman like that and suck all the sap out of her till there ain't nothing left but bone and grudge, against him that brung her here and the land that holds him and her with him. Henry McAllan was as landsick as any man I ever seen and I seen plenty of em, white and colored both. It's in their eyes, the way they look at the land like a woman they's itching for."

Mudbound tell
Wow! What a powerful, thought provoking read! I am still processing how I feel. It is definitely a 5 star read for me.

The story opens up with 2 brothers getting ready to bury their cantankerous father, who never had a nice word or action towards anyone in his entire life. "Pappy" is so vile and repulsive that he calls his granddaughter piglet and tells her she is too fat to sit on his lap; he is a bully and a mean spirited excuse for a human being.

The reader doesn't know how the old man died b
Angela M
Nov 14, 2013 Angela M rated it it was amazing
I wonder how I can possibly say that I loved reading this book . It is a gut wrenching story of two families on a farm in Mississippi in the times of Jim Crow just after WW II . It's about racism , hatred, inequality and unspeakable wrongs . Yet , I was taken by the story from the first page to the last , in spite of the knots in my stomach and lumps in my throat along the way .
Alternating narratives of all of the main characters but one , was an exceptional way to get to know them and their in
Nov 10, 2013 Josh rated it really liked it
Read this as a monthly read in the group "On the Southern Literary Trail". Very fitting for this group. While Faulkner in approach, Faulkner in setting, and Faulkner in subject matter, Mudbound brings a unique story that perhaps some readers who might tire on Faulkner could still enjoy.

For me personally, the action was a bit rear end loaded but I enjoyed the more historical flavor to the first two/thirds of the book. The final viewpoints from each character brought this one up from a three to a
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Hillary Jordan is the author of two novels: MUDBOUND and WHEN SHE WOKE, as well as the digital short "Aftermirth," all published by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill.

MUDBOUND won the 2006 Bellwether Prize for fiction, founded by Barbara Kingsolver to recognize debut novels of social justice, and an Alex Award from the American Library Association. PASTE Magazine named it one of the Top 10 Debut Novel
More about Hillary Jordan...

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“What we can't speak, we say in silence.” 69 likes
“This was the truth at the core of my existence: this yawning emptiness, scantily clad in rage. It had been there all along.” 41 likes
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