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Children of Strangers
by Lyle Saxon
Children of Strangers is the powerful and moving story of love in a community bound by race and class. Famie is a mulatto girl, a half-breed. Her ancestors were free blacks who rivalled the white planters in wealth and culture. But on a Louisiana plantation in the 1920's, Famie is an outcast, rejected by whites because of her black ancestors, and unwilling to associate wit ...more
Paperback, 312 pages
Published August 31st 1989 by Pelican Publishing Company
(first published April 1st 1986)
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I picked up this book on a tour of Melrose Plantation, a national historic landmark site located in the Isle Brevelle Creole region of northwest Louisiana. It has a fascinating history, beginning in the late 1700’s when Marie Therese Coincoin, a young black slave, caught the eye of French merchant Calude Thomas Metoyer who arranged to “lease” rather than purchase her from her owner. Legally, they could not marry, but they lived together for nineteen years and had ten children. Eventually Metoyer ...more
This is an excellent commentary on the caste system as it existed in the Cane River area of Louisiana in 1915-1935. The story follows Famie, a Creole of skin color so light she could pass as white. She lives in a community of land owners, all mulattoes, and works for a white plantation owner, Mr Guy, doing wash and ironing of children's clothing. The "Negroes" creoles don't mix, don't even eat at the same table or work in the same house and their rules are unwritten but unbreakable. Very insight ...more
Not many people know about this book. I became aware of it when I traveled about Natchitoches, Louisiana. It is about the caste system along the Cane River. Above all it is about unconditional love. I placed this book on my bookshelf next to Harper Lee's one novel.