Mudbound 'Mississippi' by Hillary Jordan

Oh what a different book. I enjoyed it from the first letter to the last. To write so beautifully about something so dramatic and horrible as war, hate, forbidden love and racism takes a real good author. Hillary Jordan managed that in her very first book, the prize-winning 'Mudbound'. And what's more, every scene in the book passed in front of my eyes like a movie... or as Kingsolver says 'Her characters walked straight out of 1940's Mississippi and into the part of my brain where sympathy and anger and love reside, leaving my heart racing'. 


In this story about life near the big river delta in the year of 1946, we meet two families;  McAllans, the white family with the city-bred Laura who is trying to raise her children on her husband Henry's Mississippi cotton farm -a mudplace she finds foreign and frightening, and especially her father in law. But Laura starts cheering up near Henry's charming brother Jamie... 

And the Jacksons, a black family that works for the McAllans as share tenants. Hap the father gets injured and is treated by a doctor that hates 'niggers'. His wife Florence that usually works in the McAllens household and as a midwife has now to work in the fields with their two small children. Their oldest son Ronsel a sergeant under General Patton, having fought the Germans in Europe and seen what the nazi have done, decided he'll no longer accept the insults and violence of segregation, 'either Mississippi is going to change, or Ronsel will have to leave'...

When Jamie McAllan and Ronsel Jackson return from fighting World War II, the unlikely friendship of these brothers-in-arms sets in motion a harrowing chain of events that test the faith and courage of both families. As they strive for love and honor in a brutal time and place they become players in a tragedy on the grandest scale and find redemption where they least expect it.

It is told from the perspective of this six characters — black and white, male and female; Alternating first-person narratives,  each of them contributing their part of the story from their own viewpoint with their own memories and feelings, perfectly blending and overlapping back and forth with the others'. 
It keeps a straight line of strong excitement with not much ups and downs except when you reach the end... you can't stop reading even if it's 2 o'clock in the morning and workday next day. I often been mentioning books that give a bit more than just a good and exciting story... this really is such a one.

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