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December 2017: Social Issues > Mudbound by Hillary Jordan - 4+ Stars

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message 1: by Joy D (new)

Joy D | 3891 comments This book is 4.5 stars for me. I almost gave it 5 stars, and may do so at some point after thinking about it for a while.

I found it a deeply disturbing depiction of racism in the 1940's deep south US. If you are a reader who avoids graphic violence, racial slurs or mature content, or don't like depressing books about how cruel people can be to each other, I'd pass it by. My review is below:

Historical fiction set in the deep south in the 1940’s, this powerful and riveting novel weaves together the stories of six characters, three black and three white. Each character narrates his or her point of view on what is happening. I felt this method was extremely effective in developing the characters such that the reader can understand their motivations and actions, even while disagreeing with some of their choices. I could hear their dialogue, and it seemed very real. In short, the author did an excellent job of breathing life into her characters. She also did a great job of describing the Mississippi Delta area. I could almost feel the sludge of the mud forming as it rained.

It is a story of adversity in many forms, such as the difficulties of a tenant farmer trying not to fall back into a life of debt, the hardships in a marriage when changing lifestyles from one of comfort to one of deprivation, and the obstacles faced by soldiers returning from WWII haunted and changed by what they have experienced. Major elements include racism, sexism, marriage, PTSD, and the impact of keeping silent. I think it tries to show that some of the seeds of change in race relations, or at least a measure of acceptance, were sown in the 40’s after WWII when the soldiers returned.

Recommended to readers interested in tragedies, difficult subject matter, and the history of racial injustice. Contains graphic violence, mature content, racial slurs, bigoted characters, and infidelity.


message 2: by Barbara M (new)

Barbara M (barbara-m) | 2275 comments I thought this book was terrific though quite violent and cruel in many places but with hope for the future.


message 3: by Joy D (new)

Joy D | 3891 comments Barbara wrote: "I thought this book was terrific though quite violent and cruel in many places but with hope for the future."

Yes, I agree. I also think the hope was more evident with the younger people, which was encouraging.


message 4: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6020 comments I just saw something in USA Today that referenced a Netflix movie of Mudbound .... or was I dreaming?


message 5: by Joy D (new)

Joy D | 3891 comments Yes, there was a Netflix movie based on this book, but I have not seen it.


message 6: by Denizen (new)

Denizen (den13) | 1138 comments I absolutely loved Mudbound and am looking forward to watching the Neflix movie with the start of the new year.


message 7: by JoLene (new)

JoLene (trvl2mtns) | 1532 comments Rats -- I didn't realize that the movie was on NetFlix. We don't have a subscription :-( Between that, The Crown and Stranger Things, we might just need to start up again!!!

I read this earlier this year and agree that it was a tough read in many places --- that father was the worst. I thought it was interesting about how the war was a 'unifier' for that generation.


message 8: by Ladyslott (new)

Ladyslott | 1880 comments I loved this book, despite how hard it was to read at times. The Netflix movie is on my watchlist


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