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Men We Reaped
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September 2019: Cultural > Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward - 5 stars

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Booknblues | 5767 comments I loved Jesmyn Ward's books Salvage the Bones and Sing, Unburied, Sing. They were so intelligent and compassionate, highlighting the author's skill and understanding of the culture of Southern Mississippi, that I wanted to read her memoir, Men We Reaped.

Ward states: "I wonder why silence is the sound of our subsumed rage, our accumulated grief. I decide this is not right, that I must give voice to this story."
The story is her life and the death of 5 male friends and relatives from 2000 to 2004. Ward sandwiches the story of each young man between the story of her growing up so the reader can understand what her life was like and the influences which she had.

It is hard not to be moved by her story and not to be appalled by the blatant and casual racism which was part of her daily life. I applaud Ward for telling this story which was clearly difficult for her.

(view spoiler)

I would suggest this book for those who have enjoyed Ward's writing or those who enjoy memoirs.


message 2: by NancyJ (last edited Sep 22, 2019 11:04PM) (new) - added it

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 5222 comments Thanks for your review. l really liked her writing in Sing, Unburied, Sing. It might have been my first book of this year. Her compassion and wisdom shows through in her writing, and I would like to hear her story. I've been reading quite a bit about race, and each book adds something unique. (My current book has many strengths but it's relatively light on compassion.)


Booknblues | 5767 comments Nancy, I would love to discuss this book with you.

I'll be waiting for you to read it.


message 4: by NancyJ (new) - added it

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 5222 comments I just started it (on audio). I keep taking breaks from my Egypt book. We'll see what I can manage to finish tonight.


Booknblues | 5767 comments Oh, good. Does the author read it?


message 6: by NancyJ (new) - added it

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 5222 comments Booknblues wrote: "Oh, good. Does the author read it?"

No unfortunately not. The narration isn't that great. It's a reading, not a performance. My library has the book too, so I might switch to that.


message 7: by Jason (new)

Jason Oliver | 2063 comments Would you recommend starting with this book for someone who has never read Jesmyn Ward? I am intrigued with your review.


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