Saturday, March 24, 2012

Yellow Crocus

My Thoughts:  Yellow Crocus is set in pre-Civil War Virginia on plantations along the James River. Upon her birth Lisbeth is immediately whisked away to her wet nurse Mattie who was a slave in the fields brought into the house for this new duty. The relationship that develops between them transcends society’s limitations and expectations.
It is so hard to describe Yellow Crocus without giving away the plot and I hate to spoil such a wonderful book. It's is a story of love, loss, hope and great historical fiction. I give Yellow Crocus 5 stars - the first I've given to a work of fiction in 2012.

The greatest social change often blooms from personal acts of love.
Yellow Crocus will appeal to fans of The Help.
Mattie was never truly mine. That knowledge must have filled me as
quickly and surely as the milk from her breasts. Although my family
‘owned' her, although she occupied the center of my universe, her
deepest affections lay elsewhere. So along with the comfort of her
came the fear that I would lose her some day. This is our story...

So begins Lisbeth Wainwright's compelling tale of coming-of-age in
antebellum Virginia. Born to white plantation owners but raised by her
enslaved black wet nurse, Mattie, Lisbeth's childhood unfolds on the
line between two very different worlds. Growing up under the watchful
eye of Mattie, the child adopts her surrogate mother's deep-seated
faith in God, her love of music and black-eyed peas, and the tradition
of hunting for yellow crocuses in the early days of spring. Yet
Lisbeth has freedoms and opportunities that Mattie does not have,
though the color of the girl's skin cannot protect her from the
societal expectations placed on women born to privilege. As Lisbeth
grows up, she struggles to reconcile her love for her caregiver with
her parent's expectations, a task made all the more difficult as she
becomes increasingly aware of the ugly realities of the American
slavery system. When the inequality of her two worlds comes to a head
during an act of shocking brutality, Lisbeth realizes she must make a
choice, one that will require every ounce of the courage she learned
from her beloved Mattie. This compelling historical novel is a richly
evocative tale of love and redemption set during one of the darkest
chapters of American history.

I'd like to thank the publisher for making a review copy of Yellow Crocus available via NetGalley.

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