Elizabeth's Reviews > Death in the Delta: Uncovering a Mississippi Family Secret

Death in the Delta by Molly Walling
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's review
Sep 18, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: nf-memoir
Read in August, 2012

What would you do if you were from a prominent white Mississippi family and found out in 2006 that your father had been accused of murdering two black men in 1946 in the delta region of Mississippi, with charges quickly dropped?

And what if no one in your family, including your elderly mother, would help you learn the truth? What if, in fact, most of them stonewalled you at every turn and tried to shame you into stopping your research?

And what if the evidence you turned up cast a shadow over someone you loved more than life itself...someone who had made your painful childhood bearable...who seemed to be the only person who loved you unconditionally?

This is what Molly Walling faced as she set out to find the truth of a shocking family secret, a secret that had been kept from her all her life. This is a remarkable story and one with themes that probably echo through many a family in the deep South. It digs deep into the injustices and inequalities of the post WWII era, a time when things were changing...too fast for some...not fast enough for others. The author courageously makes repeated trips to the Delta, digging through musty courthouse records, talking to residents who might have known her family, visiting relatives, and even family members of the slain black men. There, in fact, she found the warmest welcome and created bonds that will last the rest of her life.

I hope this is made into a movie. It deserves a wide audience.

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Susie James I just finished "Death in the Delta" ... I didn't think Molly made it clear that in fact the Fields man, or men, killed two black men that Dec. 12, 1946, at the Pan Am station ... only one had been stated, right: then it came out that David Jones and a possible kinsman of the Fields men, Simon Toombs, had been shot and killed that night ... not clear at all whether the Fields men were (?) responsible for both deaths....and indeed a no true bill was recorded in the case of the state vs. Molly's father ...

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