This coming of age novel set on a southern Marine base in 1957, uses the recent murder of Emmett Till and its effect on the developing mind and emotio...moreThis coming of age novel set on a southern Marine base in 1957, uses the recent murder of Emmett Till and its effect on the developing mind and emotions of a 12 year old white girl to build a picture of a family and a society coming to grips with race. When Gabriella returns to her new home, on a new base, with this new knowledge, it affects how she interacts with all she meets that summer, especially Hawkins, her father's black steward, a highly decorated Marine from the Korean War.
Gabriella is also a girl on the cusp of her teenage years, a girl whose mother is mysteriously "away". Where, she doesn't know---she just wants to find her, make her better and bring her home.
Her inner thoughts propel the book; her interactions are not always what you would expect. This is a good reading experience for adults and young adults. I predict that the young adults may have some questions for their elders after reading it.
I was provided a copy of this novel by the author without commitment.(less)
As I said before, what a wonderful book. The characters are so well written and the setting actually seems to come to life in my mind. The tug of righ...moreAs I said before, what a wonderful book. The characters are so well written and the setting actually seems to come to life in my mind. The tug of right and wrong on Scout as she grows through childhood in the deep South includes learning issues of race in day to day living. Having a father like Atticus means that lessons will be learned in a different way, not through books, but through actions. Scout and Jem see what their father and other townspeople do from day to day in reaction to life's changes. They also see what happens when Atticus defends a black man charged with the crime of rape. This will probably lead to Scout's biggest lesson: acceptance of self and others.
Part of me wonders if I may actually have read this before....some scenes were just so right and almost as if remembered. If so, it must have been a very long time ago as I have no real memory of having done so.
Excellent history of the movement of American blacks out of the southern states and into the north and west of the U.S. to escape the impact of the co...moreExcellent history of the movement of American blacks out of the southern states and into the north and west of the U.S. to escape the impact of the continuing Jim Crow laws on every facet of their lives. Wilkerson has found three exemplars of this internal migration who individually moved to New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, three of the popular points due to railway lines and highways. Using these three individuals we learn some of the reasons black citizens without rights decided to make this major move, leaving all they knew behind, including their extended families.
Much that was presented here was new to me---I didn't know the full extent of the Jim Crow laws on the daily life of all black people in the south. Nor did I realize the difficulty of actually leaving the south behind. It seems like a different world from that in which I live.
The only fault I found with the book is the frequent repetition which I have seen mentioned elsewhere. It seems intended at times, to stress a point, as an accent. At other times it seems as if the author is writing for a casual reader who may just be dipping into the book at odd points. It does seem occasionally excessive, especially when the same anecdote is being repeated for the third or fourth time for no discernible reason. This does not add to an already strong story.
All in all, highly recommended as very educational and readable.(less)