Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Dark Period in our Nation's History

As well as Christian fiction, I enjoy historical fiction. Last week, I read a book in this genre. Because of its subject, it was realistically presented and very well-written. It was Yellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim, a woman who has worked in multiracial, development psychology and has experience loving children not her own.

The story she tells is of Mattie and Lisbeth. Mattie is the Negro slave who is called away from her own 3-month old son to be wetnurse to the newborn baby in the big house.

The reader can see the bond developing between Mattie and Lisbeth while Lisbeth's mother, Anne, goes about her business socializing and leaves the care of the child to Mattie. Lisbeth learns clapping games like the little black girls play, and she comes to love the yearly custom of a picnic in early spring, when the yellow crocuses bloom. Mattie's mother taught her, and now she teaches Lisbeth. Though Mattie's heart is breaking for her own child, she shows love and care to the white child that she comes to love as her own. Mattie saves Lisbeth's life more than once.

Some of the cruelty the slaves experienced is shown in this book. The ever elusive "freedom" is sought by many. When Mattie's son is sold away, she runs to freedom. She finds her husband and son and for several years she lives in Ohio, a free state, but she is always looking over her shoulder, afraid she will be sent back to her owners.

As Lisbeth grows up, she is expected to make a good marriage and live as her mother did. But the things Mattie taught her cause her to change. The reader will be very surprised at the ending, after Lisbeth has made her choice to be an abolitionist, when she and her new husband move to Ohio.

The class structure of the antibellum period was ingrained and people had a hard time overcoming it. I am thankful that today we no longer have those restrictions, and people of every color can live free and that people of every color can enjoy friendships together.

I downloaded this book on my Kindle and it was another of those "you can't put it down" books. I think if you decide to read it, you will be as fond of it as I was.

Author Laila Ibrahim. Yellow Crocus is her first novel.
This book can be downloaded free on Kindle.

No comments:

Post a Comment