Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Mudbound” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


4.03  ·  Rating details ·  63,637 ratings  ·  6,133 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 ...more
Hardcover, 328 pages
Published March 4th 2008 by Algonquin Books (first published January 1st 2008)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Mudbound, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Cait Cher Hillary Jordan was at my college last week talking about her book. She mentioned something about a sequel. I will tell you that.
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsBreaking Dawn by Stephenie MeyerThe Host by Stephenie MeyerThe Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann ShafferCity of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
Best Books of 2008
1,687 books — 6,938 voters
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeGone with the Wind by Margaret MitchellThe Help by Kathryn StockettThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark TwainFried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg
Best Southern Literature
1,241 books — 2,624 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  63,637 ratings  ·  6,133 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Mudbound
Jan 19, 2008 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!
Will Byrnes
Sep 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This novel is so moving, so relatable, and so tragic that I can’t imagine any reader being left untouched by its six narrators and the fierce, loving, and horrific story they share in the telling.

I found this story so gripping that I could barely stand to put it down; so filled with potential tragedy and disaster that I reluctantly picked it up again. Yet, I was compelled to do so. There is no way in the world that I could close my eyes and heart to this story without suffering in my ignorance.
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Set just after the end of World War Two in 1946, this is a harsh Southern novel that encapsulates the Jim Crow era. It is set in the Mississippi Delta on a cotton farm, where life is hard and the work is backbreaking, and the brown colour dominates the mudbound landscape. With a mother fearful that her daughter would be left on the shelf, Laura marries Henry McAllan, a World War 1 veteran. Soon after, he moves them to the farm. City bred Laura finds her new surroundings a shock, both demanding a ...more
4.5 stars

This was really an incredible, powerfully written novel about the Jim Crow south immediately following World War II. Set in the Mississippi Delta, Mudbound will cause you to feel mired in the muck of the land as well as in the hatred and bigotry of this place and time.

It is a story about two families, one black – the Jacksons, and one white – the McAllans, who become inextricably linked to one another. Laura is a city girl, on the brink of being labeled ‘old maid.’ When Henry McAllan r
Jan 21, 2009 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
4.5 Stars

Through the eyes and ears and thoughts of these two families –one black, one white – with a total of six people, we get a small glimpse of life in the post-war 1930’s and 40’s living in the Mississippi Delta region. Life on a cotton farm with its never-ending physical demands. All the mud.

From Laura we hear her thoughts a total of twelve times throughout this story. From Jamie, seven times, from Ronsel, five times, from Henry, four times. From Hap and Florence, four times each. You migh
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
My vacation is over and with it a return to active reading. Last year I didn’t pick up a book for the entire month of February and I attributed it to the winter blahs. Truthfully, it is because last year my team lost the Super Bowl; this year it is a much different story. It is amazing how much winning has helped my mood. Two years ago my favorite teams won the World Series and Super Bowl three months apart and I went on to read over 200 books. I doubt I’ll approach that again until my kids are ...more
Jan 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
It is wonderful that an author can write something like this as their debut novel. I enjoyed it so much!
I liked the way the author presented each chapter from the point of view of a different character. This way we got to discover what each individual was really like rather than seeing them only from another persons view. It was very noticeable that one character was never given this opportunity to speak and it was a good thing!
The book opens in a very captivating way with a scene which is repea
Apr 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Mudbound is a story of two families, one black and one white, living in post World War II Mississippi and farming the same land, one as a landholder and the other as a tenant. Two of the characters, Jaime McAllen and Ronsel Jackson, are young men who have just returned from the war and who have experienced things that link them more to one another than to their own communities. But, a friendship between a white man and a black man is not just risky, it is forbidden, and there is a sense of impen ...more
Dec 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-i-own
I always find it odd to say I loved a book when the story told is unpleasant. Actually, unpleasant is not a strong enough word, horrific is probably more accurate. This story is about many things but I think the main focus is on bigotry and racism. It takes place just after WW II in rural Mississippi and is told by several POV's, all of them main players in what happens.

I never summarize plots in my "reviews", just how a book made me feel and this one made me feel a lot. Highly recommend.
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! ...more
Oct 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Mudbound by Hillary Jordan is a extremely well written and thought provoking novel.
The literary structure of this book is very compelling, telling the same story from the perspective of the different characters really brings out the emotion of this Novel. A tough read but a rewarding one and a book where the characters will stay with me.

The characters are fully developed and very real and I was able to visualise each and every one of them. A gripping story of race relations, families, marriag
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
Diane S ☔
Oct 11, 2011 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
Oct 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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)
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
Jeanette (Again)
May 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jeanette (Again) 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
An unforgettable read.
"When I think of the farm, I think of mud. Limning my husband’s fingernails and encrusting the children’s knees and hair. Sucking at my feet like a greedy newborn on the breast. Marching in boot-shaped patches across the plank floors of the house. There was no defeating it. The mud coated everything. I dreamed in brown."
This was a super heart-wrenching novel. The soul of Mississippi in the 1940's, during and after WWII, ripped the heart out of the community of white an
Apr 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Two men return to a Mississippi Delta farm from WW11, Jamie the younger brother of Henry McAllan who owns the ramshackle place (dubbed by his wife Laura as Mudbound) and Ronsel Jackson a young black man whose family works as their sharecroppers. Since this is the time of Jim Crow it's no surprise that when the two men become friends the nearby town residents are all riled up. All of the members of these two families, notably the hateful old McAdams Patriarch Pappy, and Florence the strong black ...more
Jun 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: southern, group-reads
This is a great southern work of fiction. I loved how the book is narrated by a host of narrators. I liked the surprises. I enjoyed being so mad about circumstances but then hopeful of others. Just an overall well-rounded book that I highly recommend.

Note:movie due November 2017
Patricia Williams
A wonderful story, although very distressing, also, very true, as I grew up in the south in the 50's and 60's and I understand what was happening. This is a story of a friendship that was destroyed by out of control people. But I loved the way the story was written and how much you cared about all the characters. This book is being made into a Netflix movie to be shown in November, that is why I wanted to go ahead and read this book. I've had it on my Amazon Wish List for quite a while so glad I ...more
Jun 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Unputdownable...spellbinding and sometimes, horrifying. Often, I would hesitate to read on because I knew something disturbing and tragic was about to happen. I was reminded of Sidney Poitier's movie from the 1960's, In the Heat of the Night and other similar, racially provocative and consciousness-raising films from that period. A compelling novel, written with eloquence. I look forward to other books by this author. ...more
Angela M
Sep 26, 2013 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
Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Such a powerful and incredibly moving novel, quite unforgettable. I recommend you read the book then watch the film, both are intense yet wonderful!

This story is of two southern families that live through unbearable circumstance during the Jim Crow era. So many struggles and hardships abound that had my heart aching. And near the ending that brutal scene with Ronsel will haunt me for a while. This book is gut wrenching and has highly sensitive issues that will bring tears to your eyes. Loved thi
Apr 29, 2008 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. ...more
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
Oct 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2013, favorites
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)

Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Laura was 30 years old, a teacher, and unmarried....not good according to Mississippi's social crowd. A woman her age should be married and have children. She was embarrassed about it, and her mother didn't help with her comments.

One day, though, Henry came to dinner and "saved" Laura from all the embarrassment. He asked her to marry him. She willingly did and was happy. The happiness waned when Henry bought a farm to fulfill his lifelong dream of planting cotton along with a farmhouse with no r
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Food in Mudbound 2 22 Apr 03, 2019 05:35PM  
On the Southern L...: * Initial Impressions: Mudbound: April 2018 28 40 Apr 19, 2018 06:41AM  
On the Southern L...: * Final Impressions: Mudbound: April 2018 16 30 Apr 06, 2018 02:07PM  
Huntsville-Madiso...: Staff Pick - Mudbound by Hillary Jordan 1 18 Dec 03, 2017 09:36AM  
Play Book Tag: Mudbound/ Hillary Jordan - 5 stars 12 33 Nov 07, 2017 07:22PM  
Play Book Tag: Mudbound / Hillary Jordan. 4.5 stars 10 24 Jul 24, 2017 03:28AM  
Around the Year i...: Mudbound, by Hillary Jordan 1 15 Jun 03, 2016 03:15PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • A Castle of Doomsday
  • The History of the Medieval World: From the Conversion of Constantine to the First Crusade
  • This Tender Land
  • Shadowbrook
  • The Kitchen House
  • The Vanishing Half
  • The Sweet In-Between
  • The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
  • The Nickel Boys
  • American Dirt
  • Mary Rosie's War
  • Ultimate All the Ugly and Wonderful Things
  • The Book of Lost Friends
  • Mrs. Jeepers' Scariest Halloween Ever (The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids Super Special, #7)
  • Monsters Don't Scuba Dive (The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids #14)
  • Love Drugged
  • The Dutch House
  • Othello: Language and Writing
See similar books…
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

Related Articles

As this strange summer of staying put winds down, one thing remains truer than ever: Books offer us endless adventure and new horizons to...
57 likes · 30 comments
“What we can't speak, we say in silence.” 81 likes
“This was the truth at the core of my existence: this yawning emptiness, scantily clad in rage. It had been there all along.” 51 likes
More quotes…