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3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  792 ratings  ·  139 reviews

Glorious is set against the backdrops of the Jim Crow South, the Harlem Renaissance, and the civil rights era. Blending the truth of American history with the fruits of Bernice L. McFadden’s rich imagination, this is the story of Easter Venetta Bartlett, a fictional Harlem Renaissance writer whose tumultuous path to success, ruin, and revival offers a candid portrait of th

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Published (first published May 1st 2010)
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AJ Best
I've suffered through some 20th Century Novel courses for college. Now don't get me wrong, I loved A Tree Grows In Brooklyn and Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God. But in all honesty I couldn't get through most of the other EIGHT books we had to read in the 8 week semester.

Had Bernice McFadden's book been in that course, I would have had a book that I could read in no time at all and would have honestly enjoyed.

When I started this book I will admit that I was a little taken aback by the "20t...more
From the dirt roads of Waycross, Georgia to the busy streets of Harlem, Bernice McFadden once again delivers perfection in her latest novel, Glorious. With actual historical events playing in the background, we are introduced to Easter Bartlett and her family.

The historic "Fight of the Century" between Jack Johnson and James Jeffries sets in motion a series of events that eventually push Easter out of Georgia and eventually land her in Harlem. Much mention is made of Marcus Garvey and his Univer...more

Bernice L. Mcfadden has written another powerful novel. Glorious is true American Literature. She writes about a time and place like William Faulkner wrote about Yoknapatawpha County. While reading it and meeting all the people who entered Easter's life, the main character, I wanted to smile, cry and withdraw into my inner soul because the very characters in Glorious are my ancestors. Therefore, in this novel I arrived again at my comfort zone. My comfort zone is The Civil War, The Harlem Renais...more
Back in 1910 a black man defeated a white man in a fair fight and the black people who’d laid bets on the result were understandably elated. Soon afterwards, a girl called Easter, who already had plenty of reasons for hatred in her life, wrote that one word HATE on a piece of paper, crumpled it up, and buried it.

Easter wrote many other words too as she grew older in a world of radical unfairness and unthinking cruelty. Glorious, by Bernice McFadden, is her tale. Reading how a pregnant black cook...more
If I hadn't lost my job last year, and if my fight with social anxiety disorder wasn't so severe, I would no doubt have found a replacement by now. And if I was currently working I would not have the free time that I do which in turn would have kept me away from the computer. If I had not spent so much of that free time at the computer I wouldn't have started entering sweepstakes and giveaways and reading the articles on the blogs and sites on which they were posted. In turn, I wouldn't have dec...more

One thing I’ve learned from reading Bernice McFadden’s works – she doesn’t write about bunnies, rainbows or cotton candy: She takes you to the bottom of the well, lets you roll around in the muck, leaves you waiting for a life line, then brings you back up slowly, so at the end, you will be desperate for sunshine.

In Glorious, Easter Bartlett travels a similar journey – one full of racial hatred and brutality – all the while searching for sunshine. After su...more
A lot of books are categorized as fiction and within the pages is pure fiction so much so the readers are instantly aware that a lot of the things written therein are simply fairy tales. However, no one can say that Bernice McFadden's novel Glorious, can be misconstrued as a fairy tale. The main character, Easter Bartlett's life was far from a bed of roses. Her life started to deteriorate when her sister was raped by a gang of white boys/men who were never prosecuted for their crime and it all c...more
Ehh. I had high hopes for this book based on reviews I read, but this just didn't speak to me. The writing style was ineffective, and any response I had to things that happened to the main character was not due to the writing; in fact, most of the story felt like it was being told from a news reader. "Bermuda was hit with a hurricane. California experienced an earthquake." While this style conveys the news, it does nothing to capture the impact or feelings behind the news that would make a story...more
All descriptions of this book state that its themes are the Jim Crow South, the Harlem Renaissance writers and the civil rights movement. The book starts in 1910 and ends in the 60s.It follows one black woman, Easter, from her childhood in the South, her time up in Harlem, skims the intervening years and then ends up back in the South again. Yes, the book does cover those themes, but there is another central theme that is not mentioned. It must be mentioned – sex. If you are going to feel uncomf...more
Easter Bartlett learns early in life that because of her skin color, she will be denied basic human freedoms and considerations. She watches the inhumane justice and the unfair treatment of both her family and others of her race, with helplessness and mortification. As it cripples and destroys her family, Easter moves on and tries to spread her wings and grow.

Glorious is powerfully written novel dealing with one of America's largest sins - segregation. It has been spoken of, but unless one has g...more
Haley Mathiot
It's really hard to say if I liked Glorious or not. I liked it in some ways, in some ways it was good but I could not like it, and in other ways I disliked it.

One of the reasons I did like it, was the writing. McFadden has an interesting writing style: She writes like people think. You get asked a question and you have a million things you want to say, and a million thoughts go through your head at light speed, but all you say is a short quick answer that has no significance to the person who a...more
Tracy Darity
3.5 stars for Glorious by Bernice McFadden.

Glorious is the story of Easter Bartlett, a young black woman whose life is riddled with one tragedy after another. We follow Easter from her hometown of Waycross, GA, up the eastern coastline into Harlem and back. Along her journey her life is filled with unending tragedy and calamity. She endures a senseless crime against her sister, the death of her mother, a foray into Lesbianism, a brief marriage to the would-be assassin of a civil rights activist...more
Call me greedy. I want more.

The prologue of this novel is one of the best I have ever read. It is brilliant, heartwrenching, and eloquent. It reminded me why McFadden in one of my favorite authors. Easter Bartlett quickly etched herself into my mind and I wanted to follow her on her journey through life.

Easter starts in the harsh and hate-filled south and after much heartbreak and some indiscretion eventually works her way to Harlem. She is a writer in the right place and the right time, or so...more
Right off the heels of Loving Donovan by Bernice McFadden, I was encouraged by my Twitter followers to read Glorious. It did not take much coaxing! I am such a Bernice McFadden fan. I put down my current reads scored Glorious from the library and immediately started reading.

Our narrator is a young Easter Bartlett from Waycross, GA. We enter her life when her sister Rlizbeth has experienced a horrible life changing event. This tragedy changed the family forever and sent Easter on the journey of...more
I love the topic of the book. I think the trajectory of the author's life to become a writer is fascinating.
I have often thought there are good storytellers and good writers. A truly great writer does things with the text that if you listened to the book you'd miss a significant part of the story. A great story teller will get you lost in a story and the actual way the words are put on paper doesn't matter. She falls into the great storyteller category.
Laurie Delaney
I highly recommend this book. It is a very interesting study of the Harlem Renaissance, but is also the story of Easter, a girl whose beginnings are incredible to describe. She overcomes so much and then struggles to find her way among the glamorous literari of the Harlem Renaissance. She ends up back where she started; is that a successful life? I kept asking myself that when I finished this book. Sign me up for more of Bernice McFadden's works!
Decent. I think the book did an excellent job at showing how life in the south was during the early 1900's and gave a very detailed look into how life in Harlem was during the Renaissance, from the descriptions of the sounds heard on Lenox Avenue, to the emotions that Marcus Garvey was able to rile up amongst individuals during this era.

For some reason, I can't put my finger on it but I felt as though the book lacked something. I think the characters were well developed, but maybe there were to...more
As much as I loved "Glorious" for 2/3 of the book I have to be completely honest and say that the ending felt rushed and as if it all just came to halt. Perhaps I was spoiled by the details provided for much of the book and expected it to finish strong as well. I felt a tad disappointed and rushed at the conclusion. I still give this book a rousing three stars but it is written in McFadden's trademark style of drawing you into the characters and their experiences.

Easter is the type of person yo...more
As I've mentioned in a few of the comments while reading this book, I didn't like it much. I had a hard time following the story, chapter to chapter. The setting and timing jumped back and forth, the action and meaning of said action wasn't clear. I've come to the end and I still have no clue wtf this story is about, except that Easter is a writer who's lived a hard life and gets crapped on a lot.

The writing, also, is pretty weak, in my opinion. I've come to expect much more from Ms McFadden an...more
Tracye Love
Awesome read.

I strongly suggest this book it was a great read. The literary history and imagery was great. A must read.
This was a decent read though I kept asking myself whose story is this? Easter's, Rain's, Meredith's, Nancy's, Horace's ...whose? I ask because I never did quite believe that Easter's story was strong enough to carry the book. I never did get invested in the plot nor did I find a strong main theme/plot. I purchased this book based on the strength of McFadden's previous works. I am a fan of her writing and will continue to support her work I just didn't feel the fire and passion that she usually...more
I'm not sure I understood what all the hype was about this book. I liked parts of it a lot, thought parts of it were trite, and overall thought it had sort of a Forrest Gumpish feel. The first part of the book was my least favorite part. I thought there were a lot of unanswered questions (exactly HOW did Easter become such a scholar,given the times and her situation?), and it frustrated me that characters kept popping up without much preamble. A good read, in my opinion, but not a great one. But...more
There is something that Bernice McFadden does with her main characters that just clenches at every emotion I cycle through while reading her novels. She lets them live on the page, and by live, I mean she lets them experience all the grit, grime and gore the beautifully flawed world she paints offers. Her characters are honest while allowing their truths to expose the reality real life has set out before them.

In Glorious, McFadden's Protagonist Easter cycles through life battered, worn, and ofte...more
U. Teresa
Good book, but I think the plot eclipsed the characters. McFadden seeks to write a historical novel and does just that. The opening sequence based on a historical fight of Jack Johnson is great writing; however, from there, the characters escape me. I really wanted to connect with Easter, but I am never sure of what motivates her. Some of McFadden's other novels are better developed all-around.
Awesome book heart wrenching story but it did have a few humorous moments and quite a few facts and history that I never knew about. I even googled a few things to make sure.
A bit violent and graphic for my taste. Easter saw and experienced many violent things and never really reflected on any of it, but maybe that is what McFadden wanted to show.
I did like some of the characters however the story jumped around and towards the end there were too many characters. Very glad I read it though, the time period was interesting to learn about.
I think the idea behind this novel was great, but I just wanted more depth in all areas. I felt this was Easter's novel, but I was thrown off when so much information was given about the other characters, when I really wanted to get inside Easter's head. It also bothered me that Easter just ran from everything and then gave up writing.
Feb 22, 2014 Gitte rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in the Harlem Renaissance – but who are not too familiar with it.
I quite liked the idea for this book: We follow Easter, a Harlem Renaissance writer, on her quest from Georgia to Harlem and back again. Easter meets and loves many people, has her heart broken more than once and tries settling down in many places. The one constant thing in Easter’s life is her writing.

Writing kept her sane. Kept her form spinning out of control. Kept her tongue still whenever some white person spoke down to her. She had to write, it was the only thing that was completely hers,...more
My Bookshelf Project #58: I have no eloquent, literary critique nor praise for this book. In my opinion, it isn't her best work, not to say it was bad either. I've enjoyed and thought other works of hers was better. Bernice continues to be a favorite writer of mine and I look forward to her next book. That is all.
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African-American ...: Jan BB: Glorious by Bernice McFadden 74 15 Jan 31, 2014 11:08PM  
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I am a national bestselling, award winning Brooklyn born and bred author who writes to breathe life back into memory.

Peace & Light,

Bernice L. McFadden

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“In 1922 everything changed again. The Eskimo pie was invented; James Joyce's Ulysses was printed in Paris; snow fell on Mauna Loa, Hawaii; Babe Ruth signed a three-year contract with the New York Yankees; Eugene O'Neill was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama; Frederick Douglass's home was dedicated as a national shrine; former heavyweight champion of the world Jack Johnson invented the wrench...” 5 likes
“Writing kept her sane. Kept her form spinning out of control. Kept her tongue still whenever some white person spoke down to her. She had to write, it was the only thing that was completely hers, that she could look forward to at the end of her long day.” 0 likes
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