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The Twelve-Mile Straight


An audacious American epic set in rural Georgia during the years of the...
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Discuss The Twelve-Mile Straight by Eleanor Henderson:
What surprised you about the novel? Did you learn anything new from it?

Created: 07/11/18

Replies: 10

Posted Jul. 11, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1584

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What surprised you about the novel? Did you learn anything new from it?

What surprised you about the novel? Did you learn anything new from it?


Posted Jul. 20, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
melanieb

Join Date: 08/30/14

Posts: 125

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RE: What surprised you about the novel? Did you learn anything new from it?

I was surprised Elma was willingly to claim Wilson as her own child. During the Depression era 1930s in the racially segregated southern United States, this type of admission would have made for a harder life. I did learn something new; I learned about sickle cell anemia and was impressed that Oliver choose this area of research.


Posted Jul. 20, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JLPen77

Join Date: 02/05/16

Posts: 229

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RE: What surprised you about the novel? Did you learn anything new from it?

I learned about sickle cell, and the practice of eating clay was a new one for me too. I learned about this region of Georgia. The ways that de facto slavery continued long after the Civil War, the evils of the system of sharecropping, and the jailing of blacks for minor offenses, who were then forced into unpaid, hard labor, the Jim Crow laws, with separate train cars and hospitals and all, were not new to me, but certainly they were made more real and painful by the author's vivid writing.


Posted Jul. 23, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
N*Starr

Join Date: 03/13/14

Posts: 40

RE: What surprised you about the novel? Did you learn anything new from it?

I felt like much of what I learned in this book I had previously learned in Homegoing or the Underground Railroad. Though this has some echoes of those two books, they set the bar very very high.


Posted Jul. 23, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
renem

Join Date: 12/01/16

Posts: 172

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RE: What surprised you about the novel? Did you learn anything new from it?

I was surprised also by the eating of clay. I looked it up and supposedly it helps to keep the body from absorbing toxins such as heavy metals.


Posted Jul. 28, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dorothyh

Join Date: 01/23/15

Posts: 107

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RE: What surprised you about the novel? Did you learn anything new from it?

I did not know about the eating of clay.


Posted Jul. 29, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
cindyj

Join Date: 06/26/18

Posts: 8

RE: What surprised you about the novel? Did you learn anything new from it?

At first I was surprised about eating clay, but then I remembered the term pica. and realized that it is not uncommon.


Posted Aug. 04, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
johnw

Join Date: 03/11/12

Posts: 50

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RE: What surprised you about the novel? Did you learn anything new from it?

I was surprised about the practice of eating clay and like other readers had to research whether it was factual, if so why people ate clay.


Posted Aug. 04, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
MarieA

Join Date: 10/12/11

Posts: 193

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RE: What surprised you about the novel? Did you learn anything new from it?

I wasn't surprised by anything in the novel since I've read several dealing with the same topics Henderson deals with. A few of the customs, however, were new to me.


Posted Aug. 08, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebajane

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 211

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RE: What surprised you about the novel? Did you learn anything new from it?

I also did not know about eating clay. For me, it’s the sign of a good book if I’m forced to look something up!


Posted Aug. 28, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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taking.mytime

Join Date: 03/29/16

Posts: 97

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RE: What surprised you about the novel? Did you learn anything new from it?

Since historical fiction is a genre that I read a lot, I don't feel that I really leaned anything new from this novel. I did feel that a lot was reconfirmed in this novel. I was surprised that Elma claimed Wilson as her own child. I felt it took a long time in the novel to clear this matter up.


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