Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Yellow Crocus By: Laila Ibrahim (review)

Yellow Crocus 
Yellow Crocus
By: Laila Ibrahim

Genre: Historical Fiction, Chick-Lit
Published Dec 2010
Pages: 238
Publisher: Flaming Chalice Press
View on Goodreads

Summary:   "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 tender care of Mattie, Lisbeth 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. In time, Lisbeth realizes she has freedoms and opportunities that Mattie does not have, though she’s confined by the societal expectations placed on women born to privilege. As Lisbeth grows up, she struggles to reconcile her love for her caregiver with her parents’ expectations, a task made all the more difficult as she becomes increasingly aware of the ugly realities of the American slavery system. When Lisbeth bears witness to a shockingly brutal act, the final vestiges of her naiveté crumble around her. 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, loss, and redemption set during one of the most sinister chapters of American history."
  
Review:  This was a wonderfully written book! This book follows two characters, Mattie and Lisbeth, and is set in the mid-1800's in Virginia. Mattie is a slave woman for Lisbeth's family and is called in to be a wet nurse to young Elizabeth (Lisbeth). Forced to leave her own son just a few months old, Mattie is moved into the house and raises the young girl, almost as her own, for several years...

The first half of the book we gets the first several years from Mattie, but as the years wear on, it starts to shift to Lisbeth's. We get to see her turmoil as Mattie longs to be with her son and family but has also grown close to her young charge. All seems as ideal as it can be for a slave family for the first several yours but as Mattie's son grows older, problems arise.

We switch to Lisbeth as she begins o be taught about society, and her place in it. And the place of slaves, men, etc. When Mattie is no longer by her side she is forced to make her own decisions for good or bad. But what is that in the 1850's? How do you cope being divided by love from family?


I greatly appreciated the honesty the author brought forth. So many are afraid to speak or right the truth of how things were. While this books surely tones it down, it does note paint it pretty either. And the further into the book, the darker some of the subjects get. I hate when authors over sugar-coat the past. All men were NOT seen as equal then. and women were not to men. This portrays things relatively accurate.

This book hits some deep subjects. For those who get angry at the idea of slavery or past prejudice, do not read this. This refers to slaves as they were called in those days. This is not for the young readers, there is a rape scene,and whipping in this. For the mature reader this is a wonderful book for both history and the bonds of love, family, loyalty and friendship.

 I received this book from Flaming Chalice Press in exchange for a fair and honest review.  So special thanks to them!  *No money or other exchanges involved*

15 comments:

  1. What a lovely cover! I am a sucker for historical romance...I read contemporary as well, but with the exception of very few authors I never found them as engaging as a good historical. I saw your blog on bloglovin and I thought it would be nice to stop by and follow via gfc and bloglovin. Hope you'll follow back. Mina's Bookshelf http://minadecaro.blogspot.com. Thank you :)

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    1. This was a great book and well worth looking into. Thanks for stopping by and following my blog.

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  2. This sounds so good! I haven't come across it before but I love reading about that era of American history and understanding more about it. Will check this one out. Lovely review!

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    1. Thanks! This book was an enjoyable read with good information for the time, without going too dark for many readers.

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  3. I've seen this book of blogs quite a few times but never really bothered to read the synopsis. Looks really good. I love books that deal with slavery and reminds me a bit of The Darkest Child. Looks like there's great character building in the book too.Great cover too!

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    1. It is very well done. Realistic without being too dark a subject.

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  4. WOW! The cover caught my eye immediately and then reading your review reminded me of The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom which I loved. This is definitely going on my TBR list!

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    1. I hope you really like it. And looks like I have a new book to look into too! Thanks!

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  5. Thanks for a good review. I love historical fiction that is portrayed honestly and it looks like this book fits the bill. Sounds like there was a real and interesting relationship between the slave/wetnurse and her charge which sets up the inherent conflict of the times.

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    1. I hope you get the chance to read and enjoy this book (if you have not by this point already). The relationship portrayed is beautiful!

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  6. I am so intrigued of tales in the times of slavery! I love anything historical so throwing myself back in time is always so fun for me. This book sounds so emotional and dramatic! I can't wait to read it!!

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  7. This book sounds amazing. I'm adding it on my reading list now.

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Comments are welcome and appreciated!
I love to know what you think!