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The Bone Tree
An epic trilogy of blood and race, family and justice.
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Are the residents of Natchez, Mississippi, still living in the past?

Created: 10/14/16

Replies: 14

Posted Oct. 14, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1318

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Are the residents of Natchez, Mississippi, still living in the past?

Are the residents of Natchez, Mississippi, still living in the past? And, if so, how are past sins taking their toll on those living in the present?


Posted Oct. 14, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jww

Join Date: 05/31/11

Posts: 128

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RE: Are the residents of Natchez, Mississippi, still living in the past?

the 'past' is very important to the deep South. It is remembered, celebrated and defended at times. So, "living in the past" - perhaps. But the struggle comes with the conflicts of the past and the reality of the present.


Posted Oct. 15, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
MarieA

Join Date: 10/12/11

Posts: 149

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RE: Are the residents of Natchez, Mississippi, still living in the past?

Yes, but I think that is because what happened in the past is reflected in the present day lives of the residents. The ghosts of the past are hard to overcome and hover over generation after generation. This concept is often repeated in the works of many Southern authors.


Posted Oct. 15, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
sweeney

Join Date: 05/24/11

Posts: 71

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RE: Are the residents of Natchez, Mississippi, still living in the past?

I think it depends on what you mean by "past." I think everyone is influenced by the story of their family, their neighbors and their community. In this place in particular the history of the treatment of the African American community is still evolving, so everything in the present seems to call back to significant events in the past.


Posted Oct. 15, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
djn

Join Date: 05/19/11

Posts: 82

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RE: Are the residents of Natchez, Mississippi, still living in the past?

It seems like most of the characters of this story were living in the past and were not getting any satisfaction in what was happening to them. I wish this had been a shorter book, so I would want to know what happened next, but I was not too fond of most of the characters.


Posted Oct. 19, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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Nae

Join Date: 07/17/12

Posts: 24

RE: Are the residents of Natchez, Mississippi, still living in the past?

Living in the deep South I was drawn into this storyline with an almost visceral feeling of fear. It is not so much that the characters are living in the past as they are simply refusing to let that past die in order to justify their own misdeeds and indulgences. My husband and I know people like this right here in my little town right now, today, and I think that is part of why this trilogy has affected me so deeply ... not to mention that the author of this series has some incredibly graphic prose that at times made my skin crawl reading it. I found myself picking this book up, becoming overwhelmed with just a few pages and having to put it down and then pick it back up after a timeout as it were. As much as I am looking forward to the third volume in this series I also find myself virtually fearing what will happen in that one.


Posted Oct. 19, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
sallyh

Join Date: 09/07/12

Posts: 85

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RE: Are the residents of Natchez, Mississippi, still living in the past?

If by "the past" you mean a society where racism is accepted and perpetuated, local government is corrupt and justice is nonexistent, then yes.


Posted Oct. 20, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Peggy H

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 188

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RE: Are the residents of Natchez, Mississippi, still living in the past?

It is not quite "living in the past" but rather being Affected by things that happened in the past


Pegh
Posted Oct. 20, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianaps

Join Date: 05/29/15

Posts: 183

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RE: Are the residents of Natchez, Mississippi, still living in the past?

I think the answer is yes. And I think Natchez is presented as not being much different from others cities in America.


Posted Oct. 21, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lynnw

Join Date: 09/01/11

Posts: 124

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RE: Are the residents of Natchez, Mississippi, still living in the past?

Parts, not all, of the south have never left the past except when they are forced to change by the law. There is still a world filled with racism, sexism and hiding behind an appearance of high moral character.


Posted Oct. 21, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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donnac

Join Date: 03/26/14

Posts: 120

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RE: Are the residents of Natchez, Mississippi, still living in the past?

Reflecting on this question I'm reminded of an article I read recently about how trauma that our grandparents or greatgrandparents suffered has been found to alter our DNA for generations. The article spoke to the trauma of slavery and its effect on African Americans today, how it might change their point of view of the world, etc.. What the study showed was that people don't so much live in the past as the past lives within people. I can thus understand how the past has left its mark on white residents of Natchez and other southern communities as well. Abolishing slavery had an obviously jarring effect on the South's white population in a number of ways and may even have altered the DNA of their offspring. And whether delivered in (even unspoken) attitudes by subsequent generations to their children the effect lives on. I think I can also see that it might take a great deal of moral independence to rebel -- as it were -- against the firmly held biases and chemistry of one's predecessors to purge the past from one's own belief system.
I don't mention as an excuse for white Southerners to use in order to escape responsibility for correcting the errors of slavery and JimCrow and voter suppression and other atrocities. But rather as an acknowledgement that the struggle toward full equality is not an easy one but it can - and - has been done by many.


Posted Nov. 01, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccar

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 294

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RE: Are the residents of Natchez, Mississippi, still living in the past?

After reading this morning's news about the Senator from North Carolina making a joke about needing a bull's eye target on Hillary Clinton, I'd say that not only the Mississippi characters in the book still live in the past but hate-filled politicians as well.


Posted Nov. 01, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dawnc

Join Date: 09/19/11

Posts: 9

RE: Are the residents of Natchez, Mississippi, still living in the past?

Yes, the south is very proud of their roots, and are not open to newcomers. They cling to what they south was and yes racism is still alive and well in the south.


Posted Nov. 10, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
juliaa

Join Date: 12/03/11

Posts: 160

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RE: Are the residents of Natchez, Mississippi, still living in the past?

Although I've never lived in the South, based on what I've read, and heard from friends who do live in the South, I would have to say yes. If not exactly "living" in the past, those in Natchez and the deep South are certainly so influenced by the past that it frames and affects their actions and attitudes in the present.


Posted Nov. 20, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
barb23703

Join Date: 10/04/15

Posts: 53

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RE: Are the residents of Natchez, Mississippi, still living in the past?

As the past determines the path of our future, don't we all live in and with our past? The characters in Natchez lived in an area of pivotal violence, secrets and social change with the world watching. Each character in the book embodies a value of these warring cultures, and the psychological scars as victims become perpetrators on both sides of good and evil.


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