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The Twelve-Mile Straight

A Novel

by Eleanor Henderson

The Twelve-Mile Straight by Eleanor Henderson X
The Twelve-Mile Straight by Eleanor Henderson
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2017, 560 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2018, 560 pages

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There are currently 27 reader reviews for The Twelve-Mile Straight
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Eileen F. (Green Valley, AZ)

Great read.
This was a fantastic book of Cotton County, Georgia, during the sharecropper era. The writing is fantastic, sensitive, and daunting. Would love to be in a book group that discusses it. My own personal drawback, was the movement of the story back and forth, from present to past. When writers put the date of time, at the being of the chapter, one is able to put their mind quickly to the flow of the story. It maybe that I am 70 and I need the transition anchoring. Would recommend this book to my friends.
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BeckyH

Too long, but worthwhile (maybe)
Oh my, incest, moonshine, sharecropping, KKK, lynching, twins (one white, one black), chain gangs and everything else bad about 1920’s Georgia. It is all here along with a meandering timeline, numerous plots and sub-plots and the “N” word. If this sounds exhausting – it is. There is just soooo much going on in this 540 page tome that it is WORK to read it.
There is an interesting and valuable story here. The characters include a moonshining sharecropper with a problematic background, a teenaged daughter and a teenaged live-in black “maid.” Juke (the sharecropper/moonshiner) hires a black male farmhand. The farmhand has a relationship with both daughter and maid. Daughter has a relationship with the farm owner’s son that ends badly. Both teens are pregnant. The farmhand is lynched and dragged down the twelve-mile straight roadway to the delight (for a time) of the entire town. The son is accused of the murder and disappears – and that is just the beginning section of the book.
The characters are clearly drawn. The time and place are well defined. The situations are believable. But the whole thing is sooo long and the time meanders from before to after and back again with no clear delineation. The final resolutions are clear and satisfying. Dates at the start of each event would be helpful. A little (a lot?) of editing would help.
3 stars for length and confusing timeline
Jillf

Disappointed
I had high hopes for this book starting out. I love historical novels. Maybe that's part of the problem, I felt like I had already read this one. At the middle of the book I wished they would just get it over with already! While the ending was a bit of a surprise it wasn't enough to make all of endless chapters worth it. It's not a bad book It just went on much longer than necessary.

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