Linda's Reviews > The Last Thing You Surrender

The Last Thing You Surrender by Leonard Pitts Jr.
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it was amazing
bookshelves: 5-star-winners, fiction, historical-fiction, giveaways

"Do not tolerate disrespect, not even from yourself." (Unknown)

The Last Thing You Surrender is a bountiful harvest of life at its core. Amongst the wheat being separated from the chaff, the edible grains eventually fall to the threshing floor. Every breath taken is part of that process. Every step taken must be in the direction in which goodness rises to the surface, nothing less.

Leonard Pitts Jr. presents a sweeping saga of events during the Jim Crow era in the South. He sets his story down among the upscale residential avenues of Mobile as well as the dusty back roads on the outskirts of the city. World War II leans hard with heavy demand for warfare and the intense preparation of men and women who wear the uniform. Shipping out is a given. When is in the hands of the powers that be.

Pitts injects a bolt of lightning from the very first pages. We meet Marine Private George Simon who is thrown from his top bunk as his ship suffers life threatening damage at Pearl Harbor. George has been injured and can barely lift himself from the floor. It's evident that the ship is taking on water at a rapid rate. Gordy, an African American working in the mess hall, hears his cries and assures George that they will find a way out. But it is Gordy who will never reach the surface on that day.

Driven by guilt, George visits Gordy's widow, Thelma, after being released from the hospital. His intention is to tell her what actually transpired during those hours aboard ship. Both individuals are filled with the awkwardness of the moment enmeshed in the unspoken rituals of the deep South. Pitts sets this scenario up as the staircase leading to the vastness of a time embroiled by hatred, bigotry, oppression, and inhumanity.

With the doorway cracked open, we, as readers, will follow the pathways unfolding in the lives of George, Thelma, Luther who is Thelma's brother, and John Simon who is George's attorney father. There will be a backdrop of war, friendship, family issues, societal norms, and the poisonous hate that spews from the soulless. But there will also be the unfurling of hope, humanity, and decency within the stellar writing of Leonard Pitts. He sees to it that life is laid bare with all of its rawness and realism. And that is the impetus for turning page after see it find the worthy grains that should be within all of us. From the first days of Creation to the last.

I received a copy of The Last Thing You Surrender through Goodreads Giveaways. My thanks to Agate Publishing and to the highly talented Leonard Pitts Jr. for the opportunity.

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Reading Progress

December 5, 2018 – Shelved
December 5, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
April 30, 2019 – Started Reading
May 5, 2019 – Shelved as: 5-star-winners
May 5, 2019 – Shelved as: fiction
May 5, 2019 – Shelved as: historical-fiction
May 5, 2019 – Shelved as: giveaways
May 5, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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Linda Thanks, Deb. This was quite the read. It's out at the library now. Hope you get a chance to pick this one up. :)

Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews Fabulous review Linda! 💜💗💚

Linda Lindsay - Traveling Sister wrote: "Fabulous review Linda! 💜💗💚"

Thanks, Lindsay. I had no idea what a little gem of a novel this would be when I won it on Giveaways. Hope that it gets the attention that it so readily deserves. ;)

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