Sunday, August 03, 2008

My final book for Maggie’s Southern Reading Challenge is Mudbound by Hillary Jordan, a powerful first novel from an author who writes beautifully. We meet Laura, a college-educated Memphis schoolteacher, who seems "doomed" to a life as a spinster until she meets Henry MacAllan. When he buys a farm on the Mississippi Delta, a farm she aptly nicknames Mudbound. Laura has difficulty adjusting to life without electricity, indoor plumbing, readily accessible medical care for her two children and, worst of all, life with her live-in misogynous, racist, father-in-law. "Pappy" makes Tom Ewell seem like a likable good ole boy by comparison.
Catastrophe is inevitable when two young WWII veterans, Henry's brother, Jamie, and Ronsel, the son of the MacAllan’s tenant farmers, return home from Europe. Jamie is battling his demons, and Ronsel must battle not only his own demons, but returning to a world of blatant racism after having obtained respect as an officer in a tank unit that served under Patton.

And as for the "state of the mule", the Mule died. It was put down by Hap after breaking its leg. Page 109.


Blogger Auburn Kat said...

I finally have gotten on a reading kick and can't stop! Reading really can take away boredom!

6:17 PM  
Blogger sage said...

Sounds interesting--you're entered into the mule contest too. I was hoping to win a copy of this book, but may have to buy it... Of course, I have several other southern books waiting to be read and will finish one tonight (that will allow me to make a state of the mule report). Thanks for the review.

6:42 PM  
Blogger ____Maggie said...

Oh, I'm sorry Diane! I'm behind on my bloglines, like over 500 post from southern reading challenge bloggers alone, and I'm not past the letter H! I hope you win!!! ;D

10:43 PM  

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