In Jordan's prize-winning debut, prejudice takes many forms, both subtle and brutal. It is 1946, and city-bred Laura McAllan is trying to raise her children on her husband's Mississippi Delta farm - a place she finds foreign and frightening. In the midst of the family's struggles, two young men return from the war to work the land. Jamie McAllan, Laura's brother-in-law, is everything her husband is not - charming, handsome, and haunted by his memories of combat. Ronsel Jackson, eldest son of the black sharecroppers who live on the McAllan farm, has come home with the shine of a war hero. But no matter his bravery in defense of his country, he is still considered less than a man in the Jim Crow South. It is the unlikely friendship of these brothers-in-arms that drives this powerful novel to its inexorable conclusion.
The men and women of each family relate their versions of events and we are drawn into their lives as they become players in a tragedy on the grandest scale. As Kingsolver says of Hillary Jordan, "Her characters walked straight out of 1940s Mississippi and into the part of my brain where sympathy and anger and love reside, leaving my heart racing. They are with me still."
I hungrily raced through Mudbound in just two days, a whirlwind, fiction-filled 48 hours in which I loathed to put the book down. In the non-reading hours I worked or drifted to sleep with Hillary Jordan's six narrating characters chattering on gently in my head. Alternating narrators is tricky business, but Jordan pulls it off seamlessly, immediately commanding her characters to life .....
Her storytellers bear witness to some of the most horrific, unjust beliefs and actions that stain our nation's history, offering a token of literary justice that resonates much deeper than a mere drop in the best-seller bucket. This is a brave, beautiful novel, deserving of much praise and a wide readership. (Reviewed by Lucia Silva).
"[A] supremely readable debut novel . . . Fluidly narrated by engaging characters . . . Mudbound is packed with drama. Pick it up, then pass it on." Four-star review
A tremendous gift, a story that challenges the 1950s textbook version of our history and leaves readers completely in the thrall of her characters--and with an intense desire to investigate beyond the novel's pages.
"The perils of country living are brought to light in a confidently executed novel."
Jordan's beautiful debut [is] a superbly rendered depiction of the fury and terror wrought by racism.
Jordan faultlessly portrays the values of the 1940s as she builds to a stunning conclusion. Highly recommended
Starred Review. [A] sophisticated, complex first novel.
Stewart O'Nan Mudbound is a real page-turner — a tangle of history, tragedy, and romance powered by guilt, moral indignation, and a near chorus of unstoppable voices.
Hillary Jordan writes with the force of a Delta storm
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Joyce S. Mudbound Our Book Club reviewed the book, at length, today and found so much to discuss.
We liked the chapters written from each character's perspective and so true to the time and place. This book should be made into a movie.
Rated of 5
by Dorothy T. Tackling tough issues This is an engaging read and would lead to great discussions in a book club. The characters are carefully developed and the story moved me along and pulled at my emotions.
Rated of 5
by Marian the Librarian A fast and excellent read! A fast and excellent read! A great book for book clubs. So many issues to discuss about the South after WW II.
Some have remarked it is a grim book. I think it's a book that especially women will identify with the female characters, although... Read More
Rated of 5
by None of ya business Black and White Sparks emerge and form unity This book is amazing. We read it in class. I love this book so much. I enjoy this book and would recommend it to everyone in the world who is black because it shows them that we all come far in life to get to the position that we are all in today.
Rated of 5
by Michelle Mudbound seeps into your soul This book is one of the best books I have read so far in 2008. Reminiscent of Faulkner, the author chose to have multiple narrators of this tale. The book in gripping from start to finish and as a reader I can easily empathize with each character.... Read More
Mudbound won the 2006
Bellwether Prize for Fiction, a
prize fully-funded by author Barbara
Kingsolver, awarded to previously unpublished first novels that
address issues of social justice. The
prize, awarded in even-numbered years,
consists of a $25,000 cash payment to
the author of the winning manuscript,
and guaranteed publication by a major
publisher. The Bellwether Prize is the
only major North American endowment or
prize for the arts that specifically
seeks to support literature of social
Mudbound is Hillary Jordan's
first novel. After nearly 15 years
working full-time as an advertising
copywriter, she left to pursue her own
writing, working on Mudbound for
seven years. Inspired by stories of her
grandparents' farm in Arkansas, the
seeds of the novel...
Named for a flower whose blood-red sap possesses the power both to heal and poison, Bloodroot is a stunning fiction debut about the legaciesof magic and madness, faith and secrets, passion and lossthat haunt one family across the generations, from the Great Depression to today.
Jeannette Walls's memoir The Glass Castle was "nothing short of spectacular" (Entertainment Weekly). Now, in Half Broke Horses, she brings us the story of her grandmother, told in a first-person voice that is authentic, irresistible, and triumphant.
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A Man Called Intrepid author dies aged 89(Dec 03 2013) William Stevenson, a journalist and author who drew on his close ties with intelligence sources to write two best-selling books in the 1970s, A Man Called...