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One Mississippi
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Group Reads: Moderator's Choice > Moderator's Choice, June 2018: One Mississippi - Initial thoughts

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message 1: by Tom, "Big Daddy" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tom Mathews | 2749 comments Mod
Comments on this board should be written with the assumption that not all readers have finished the book. Please avoid revealing any spoilers.


Candi (candih) | 208 comments I am reading this currently - my first by this author. I am enjoying it a lot more than I expected! I quite like Daniel - his voice comes across as very believable. Some serious topics, but with some levity thrown into the mix as well.


message 3: by Sara (new) - rated it 1 star

Sara (phantomswife) | 1394 comments Not hitting me the same way. I am finding it quite unbelievable. I attended a high school in the South during this exact period and I cannot imagine any of these events occurring. Finding that hard to overlook.


Candi (candih) | 208 comments Sara wrote: "Not hitting me the same way. I am finding it quite unbelievable. I attended a high school in the South during this exact period and I cannot imagine any of these events occurring. Finding that hard..."

Oh, that's a bummer, Sara. Being a northern gal, I don't really have a good comparison in that respect. I don't know if the events are believable, but Daniel's conflicting emotions and actions are what seem to ring true for me. How far are you into the book?


message 5: by Sara (new) - rated it 1 star

Sara (phantomswife) | 1394 comments Finished it tonight. Sorry to say this wasn't my cup of tea.


LA Cantrell | 1324 comments Darn. Sorry his use of the ludicrous didnt work for you. Its a hallmark of his writing. Did you read Crazy in Alabama? That has a central far fetched mulligan in there too - one of those devices by Childress that seems to be a central portion of the plot but really is not.


message 7: by LA Cantrell (last edited Jun 04, 2018 04:31AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

LA Cantrell | 1324 comments I entirely respect that this did not work for you, Sara and stuck a comment in the 'final' discussion spot.

Not to be mysterious to those in this 'initial' area, the gist is that Childress actually uses a touch of magical realism in his stories and most of everything he writes is about racial tensions in the time period and place where he went to high school (Clinton, MS) or where he was born and lived as a little boy (Monroeville, Alabama - yes..THAT Monroeville!).


message 8: by Diane, "Miss Scarlett" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Diane Barnes | 4420 comments Mod
Sara, I had the same problem with the reality of the time and place. In 1973, in Mississippi, a black girl would never have been elected prom queen in a predominantly white high school, and other details in the story did not ring true either. I did not get the "magical realism" sense from this one. The thing that saved it for me was the ending. That gave it an extra star from me.


message 9: by Sara (new) - rated it 1 star

Sara (phantomswife) | 1394 comments I am going to put my comments in the other thread.


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

I didn’t attend high school in the South, so I didn’t have any problems with the story (in fact I didn’t for one minute question a black prom queen—but probably should have). I can certainly understand the problems others had.

Read my 4-star review of One Mississippi by Mark Childress
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 11: by Tom, "Big Daddy" (last edited Jun 14, 2018 10:42AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tom Mathews | 2749 comments Mod
i was originally on the fence about reading this but decided to dip a toe in to see if it hooked me. It did. Having read Crazy in Alabama, I'm counting on the author's sense of the absurd to carry the day. (Jeez, how many clichés can I put in a paragraph. )
Regarding the story of the prom queen, I recall that one of the authors that we read attended Alabama and that she related how they had elected a black homecoming queen leading many of the people in the stands to turn their backs on her. This may have been a decade or so later but my point is that similar things have actually happened.


message 12: by Sara (new) - rated it 1 star

Sara (phantomswife) | 1394 comments I guess my reaction was based on if it could only happen decades later then set it there.


LA Cantrell | 1324 comments My hubby is from a tiny little town in north eastern Mississippi, and he went to high school in the mid-1970s. There were multiple black girls nominated for homecoming queen every year he went to school. He actually was the one who introduced me to Childress’s novels many years ago. He forewarned me that there were certain things that were rather unbelievable, but that it was part of the writers style. The likelihood of an African American teenager being elected queen was not something he was referring to as outlandish.

If you have seen one Southern high school, then you have seen ONE Southern high school. We both loved this book despite the serious topics.


message 14: by Tom, "Big Daddy" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tom Mathews | 2749 comments Mod
Sara wrote: "I guess my reaction was based on if it could only happen decades later then set it there."

Fiction writers are notorious for taking a story or event that they have heard and incorporating it into their story, even though it occurred at a different time than the story they are writing. This can be infuriating to those of us based in reality.


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