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3.62  ·  Rating details ·  1,046 ratings  ·  239 reviews
On the eve of World War II, young Ella McGee sits on a bus bound for her Southern hometown. Behind her in Washington, D.C., lie the broken pieces of her parents’ love story—a black father drafted; an activist mother of Scotch-Irish and Cherokee descent confronting racist thugs.

But Ella’s journey is just beginning when she reaches Hopewell County, and her disappearance int
Paperback, 336 pages
Published February 26th 2013 by Penguin Books (first published March 1st 2012)
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Average rating 3.62  · 
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 ·  1,046 ratings  ·  239 reviews

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Glow starts with a quiet, loving moment between two people. It quickly turns into something more sinister. Soon a mother is rushing to save her daughter, a child who thinks of her as a sister. They go to the bus stop, but there's only room for one, and the mother sends the child ahead alone. Few hours later a phone call reveals the awful truth–the child, Ella, never made to their home town.

Tuccelli throws the reader into the young mother's skin just before sitting them down with the eleven year
May 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If I could, I would give this book ten stars. I don't know what the criteria is for a masterpiece, but in my opinion, this meets any requirements for that honor.

What beautiful, beautiful language. The characters are magnificently presented so you feel as if you truly know these people. The smells, the sights, the sounds are all there to make this a unique experience.

It travels from the 1800s up to WWII. Here is an interview with the author:
If you'll liste
Lydia Presley
I am not going to lie, this book took some getting used to. What it reminded me of is a great bit ball of string, all knotted up, and trying to get it all into one smooth string, you have to follow the knots and work them slowly, one by one.

Glow begins with the story of Mia and Ella - Mia being the teenage mother of Ella, but Ella believing her grandmother is really her mother. There is racial tensions, being as this is set in Georgia in the mid-40's, and the switching back and forth between pe
I was delighted to win Glow in the First-reads Giveaway contest. This was certainly a very much appreciated surprise Christmas present!

Glow is the exceptionally well written debut novel of Jessica Maria Tuccelli. Indian legends, ‘haints’ and hoodoo magic flickers through this brilliantly written novel of the history of the southern states. This is an expertly weaved tale written in the vernacular of several different characters from the small mountainous community of Hopewell County, Georgia ran
This story spans the years from 1834 to 1941 in Hopewell County, Georgia, and is told non-sequentially by several different narrators. At the heart of this story is the pursuit of freedom, equality and tolerance, from the era of slavery through the years of segregation and the KKK, but the complexity of the characters and their relationships, and more than a sprinkling of magic, take it to another level. I was very impressed with the author's ability to take a subject which has been tackled many ...more
Cindy Hudson
Jul 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When Amelia McGee gets a threatening rock through her window on the eve of a picket by blacks in Washington, D.C. in 1941, the first things she thinks to do is send her daughter Ella back to the homestead in Georgia where she will be safe. But something goes wrong on the way. The bus breaks down and deposits Ella late. When she begins to walk to her uncle’s home, two men in a pickup attack her, but she’s rescued before she is seriously injured. So begins the tale in Glow, a novel by Jessica Mari ...more
Mar 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars

What a talented author this is! It is one thing to tie together a generation or two. Quite another to tie together a couple of family trees and generations.

The book is told by multiple perspectives in different time periods. The first voice introduces a couple of characters and the current conflict. The next voice might be a character introduced by the previous character but eventually they all tie together into the same family tree, although not a straight line. The cultures cross be
Mar 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2012
This story spans the years 1836 to 1941 following the female descendants of Solomon Bounds.

Amelia McGee, a young woman of Cherokee and Scotch-Irish descent, is an outspoken pamphleteer for the NAACP and when her home was vandalized in the middle of the night she decides to put her eleven year old daughter, Ella, alone on a bus home to Georgia from Washington, D.C. But when the local bus is out of commission Ella is left walking the last part of her journey. She is preyed on by two drifters and i
This is probably a 3.5 for me. Beautifully written tale about small town Georgia and the intertwining history of its families. I was engrossed by the characters and drawn in by their stories, though Mia and Ella's narratives were hard for me to tell apart at first. There are a lot of great things about this book--the descriptions were evocative without veering into self-indulgence and the interplay of race relations between white, black and Cherokee rang true to me. I thought it was a sensitivel ...more
Glow is the kind of novel I want to shout about, the kind of novel I want to shove into the hands of complete and total strangers. I’m floored that it’s a debut and I’m a tiny bit angry with myself for not discovering it sooner. This is a book written for me. A family deep-rooted in the South, heavy-hitting themes tackled respectfully but without sugar-coating anything, a well of faith, and just a hint of magic. Glow is a phenomenal novel that left me breathless. Not only will I be itching for w ...more
Tracy Darity
Apr 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Glow the debut novel by Jessica Maria Tuccelli is exquisitely written. Her words are a work of beauty and I immediately fell in love with this novel. Glow starts out with Mia (Amelia) McGhee, a civil rights activist on the verge of leading an organized picket against a major grocer in Washington, DC. On the eve of the picket terror strikes too close to home and she places her young daughter Ella and family dog on a bus, alone, headed back to her hometown of Hopewell, Georgia.

Glow is compared to
Beth Diiorio
As a piece of literary fiction, Glow intrigued me for many reasons. First, the flowing conversation allowed me to stay engaged right there with the story:

Mia had tried again, treading gingerly, not wanting to spoil the beauty of her daughter, not wanting to seed ugliness in her head.
They won't let folks with brown faces work there. Only pink faces like them. White folks, she conceded.
Not even you?
Especially not me.
Why not?
Because some folks don't know any better; they weren't taught to do the ri
Apr 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novel was much more than I expected from the dust jacket description. What could have been an interesting read as an abduction mystery and tale of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1940s turned into much more. It became a multigenerational tale of mixed-race communities and relationships over a century in Georgia told through the eyes of several characters, free and enslaved.

I feel it is often easy to make characters that are slaves more caricature than human being. The characters in this b
Very, very torn between 3-star and 4-star review... but I'm going with three because I got bored several times while reading this book. It just had too many slow parts for my liking - I prefer something that keeps me up all night because I can't wait to see what happens next.

It's a very complex story spanning hundreds of years and connecting dozens of characters - and considering the epic proportions of the tale to be told, I'm really impressed that it was so coherent. I did have to keep going b
Jul 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I greatly enjoyed listening to this historical novel in recorded book form. At times I got a bit mixed up as to who was speaking (the story spans about 100 years with about five different voices), which is normal for me these days. The depiction of the lives of these slaves, African Americans and Cherokee and Caucasian main characters were wonderful to follow. I was impressed by the extensive vocabulary used (I read some where that as languages get older, they get simpler--well 19th century Engl ...more
Oct 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wow, just wow!

Sometimes slow moving, sometimes confusing, with a sometimes aggravating narrative voice, but wow! These irritating mechanisms were not enough to overshadow how wonderfully written and complex this story is. When I first picked it up, I thought it was going to yet another period slavery story, but it is so much more. The richness of the area, the time, and the multi-layered racial aspects (white, black, Indian) are woven together in such a way that make it oh so much more.

I have to
Jan 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library
I can only echo the sentiment my friend expressed after she read the book "wow" There were times when I was reading this book when I couldn't keep all the characters straight and I thought it jumped around too much but then the book just over took me. In the end, my heart was breaking for all that had happened to my friends from "Glow". The character development was superb, the voices of all of them so crystal clear. I cared so much for them. It is a beautifully written book. Add it to your list ...more
Jul 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written, mystical. Incorporated history in the southern United States - the effects on people considered subhuman devastating. It's good to read this book straight through to keep characters and times straight. I picked it up at different times and had to try to reacquaint myself with who was who.
Missy Gleisser
This book was very hard for me to get through. I’m not sure if it’s the writing or the way the book is structured. The back and forth nature of the story teller in the beginning made it difficult to connect with the characters and understand what’s happening. When I had more time with one narrator’s story I wanted to know where their life would lead and how it connected to the other narrators and familiar names. It was important to me to finish the book and lean in to the stories I don’t often r ...more
Jun 29, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5 stars
Holly P
Feb 21, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american-hf

Although a little complex with the multiple time periods and narratives, Glow is an engrossing novel which convincingly captures the essence of the time period, especially the parts taking place in Hopewell County, GA during the mid-1800's. While the novel touches on the forced removal of the Cherokee from Georgia and also slavery in the county, the focal point of the story is the family connections which are related by a fascinating and varied cast of characters.

"No matter what trouble he st
Feb 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Unheard American Voices"
from The Tottenville Review

Spanning a hundred years, Jessica Maria Tuccelli’s debut novel, Glow, is a tale of generations and the generational legacy of American race relations. Essentially, it is the story of a mother, Amelia McGee, a woman of mixed Cherokee and Scotch-Irish descent, and her young daughter, Ella. Amelia is a dangerously outspoken pamphleteer for the NAACP in 1941, and fearing for her daughter’s life, she puts Ella on a bus home to Georgia in the middle
Apr 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was so good! Kind of Roots-esque in content and how it covers the lives of many people throughout different periods in history (though I haven't seen Roots since 6th grade). My only complaint is that it felt like it ended rather abruptly -- I would have loved another chapter or two to wrap things up a bit more.

To be honest, I'm a bit wary of books like this -- chronicling the lives of people of color, but having been written by a caucasian. I've been avoiding that one book that was popular
Mar 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lately all I've been reading are YA books and it was awesome to read an excellent work of literature for a change. In school, history class was story time . It was all a story to me but really, all that stuff we've read about, they really happened. The good, yes, but also the bad. Hitler, Racism, Inequality and Discrimination (of any kind) - they're all real. Sometimes I read so much that I forget that fiction has some truth in it. Cruelty is real. At least as much as the good stuff is.

When I s
This is a tough book to review. I found the writing to be absolutely exquisite. At first, I thought this would be a four- or five-star book for sure. The story starts with Ella McGee, daughter of NAACP activist Amelia McGee, who is put on a bus down south to Georgia in 1941. Unfortunately, the bus breaks down and she is left stranded--and soon beat up by two strangers--on the side of the road. She's rescued by former slave Willie Mae Cotton and her partner, Mary-Mary Freeborn. Starts on an intri ...more
Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I'm having a hard time writing this review, describing the emotions I felt as I'm reading it - have erased and wiped it clean more times than I can count now, so let's start with the basics. We begin in 1941 with eleven year old Ella McGee on a bus headed home to Hopewell County, Georgia. Ella's mom, who she thinks is her sister, has sent her from danger. There was only room on the bus for one so Mia sent little Ella ahead. A call from her brother Buddy a few hours later to sa ...more
Mar 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really great book. I will be recommending to those who need a great book club pick.
It reminded me a lot of Ann Patchett's earlier novels, and Alice Hoffman's earlier books also.
Ella's sister Mia sends her off on a bus in the middle of the night, to escape a possible racial crime against her. She gets dropped off(with her dog) in the middle of Georgia on a roadside, where two strangers assault her and leave her for dead, once they are happened upon by passing motorists.The passing motorists ar
Dec 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved, loved, loved this book! The prose was lush and vivid and the characters utterly believable. It transported me into another time(s), yet the sufferings and joys felt both modern and palpable. The writer uses several different narrators to tell the story and I found each voice to be engaging. So much so, that while I was excited to meet a new character I was always sad to let go of the one I'd just been travelling with. Although, the further in you read, the more you realize they're all t ...more
PopcornReads - MkNoah
Book Giveaway & Review: When the publisher’s rep approached me about reading and possibly reviewing Glow by Jessica Maria Tuccelli, all she had to tell me was that it took place in the Appalachian Mountains and I was hooked. Glow tells the story of at least four generations in an Georgia Appalachian Mountains family, spanning the years from 1836 through 1941. It’s a complex look at race relations within one family, whose members are of Native American, African American and Scots-Irish descent. I ...more
May 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is so much more than the historical events described on the jacket. The characters in the novel seem to grow with the landscape, and evolve into the inter-connectedness that is (thankfully) graphically depicted in a family tree in the beginning of the book. Glow is all the things you want in a novel - vivid writing, engaging story-lines, and complex and interesting characters. The author's focus on three main characters caught me on an emotional level as well, and I found that I though ...more
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The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance named Jessica Maria Tuccelli's debut novel, GLOW (Viking 2012), an Okra Pick—their highest recognition. A graduate of MIT with a degree in Cultural Anthropology, Tuccelli divides her time between New York City and Rome.

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“I wish I’d paid better attention. I didn’t yet think of time as finite. I didn’t fully appreciate the stories she told me until I became adult, and by then I had to make do with snippets pasted together, a film projected on the back of my mind.” 86 likes
“I still loved Granny. It flowed out of my chest. With Granny gone, where would my love go?” 55 likes
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