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Yellow Crocus: A Novel by Laila Ibrahim
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Yellow Crocus: A Novel (edition 2010)

by Laila Ibrahim

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2182453,416 (3.98)16
Member:tututhefirst
Title:Yellow Crocus: A Novel
Authors:Laila Ibrahim
Info:Flaming Chalice Press (2010), Paperback, 238 pages
Collections:Your library, E-book
Rating:****
Tags:NetGalley, historical fiction, slavery

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Yellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim

  1. 00
    The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom (susiesharp)
    susiesharp: this is also a tale of the south and slavery but this one is not as depressing as The Kitchen House but has a similar feel.
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Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
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* ( )
  jljaina | May 16, 2015 |
A book that explores the unusual bond developed between a girl and her wet nurse before the Civil War. Difficult to read at times because of the prevailing ignorance and treatment of people, but told well from various perspectives. ( )
  poetreegirl | Feb 16, 2015 |
I liked the beginning and ending of this historical fiction set in pre-Civil War Virginia and Ohio more than the middle. Lisbeth as a teenager seemed unbelievably naive. This level of blindness is like the Germans during WW2 saying they didn't know what was happening to the Jews. I guess it stems from a similar psychological need to not see the cruelty that you feel you have little ability to ameliorate. ( )
  leslie.98 | Feb 13, 2015 |
I enjoyed this story about Mattie the slave and how she grew up in the south and then went by the underground railroad north. While this book may not have been perfect, I liked the story. It shows what boundaries existed between the blacks and the whites. Even when the slaves made it to Ohio, they were still treated differently than the whites. It was better, but no utopia. On the flip side we have Elizabeth who has grown up in the wealthy south as the daughter of a plantation owner and moves to the north with her husband who is pro-abolition. I thought that this was an interesting what if story. I think that it was presented realistically.

This book has mixed reviews and was compared to Sue Monk Kidd’s The Invention of Wings. I haven’t read that one, now I am curious. I really enjoyed this one. I felt that it was well written. I give this one a 5 out of 5 stars. ( )
  Pattymclpn | Feb 1, 2015 |
Spoiler Alert.

Fiction.

This story takes place in both Virginia and Ohio prior to The Civil War. Mattie, a slave, becomes the wet nurse and caretaker of Elizabeth (Lisbeth). They share a mutual love for one another. Of course, the relationship is unbalanced due to Mattie's status as a slave.
Mattie was moved from the slave quarters to the big house right after her son, Samuel, was born. Her husband was sold to a nearby plantation. She has very little contact with her family.
Mattie escapes with her son through the underground railroad to the free state of Ohio. She meets up with her husband there. She l later meets up with Lisbeth.
This story is intriguing. I think this is a must read. Although the story is fictional, it relates an important part of American history.
  LynnGW | Jan 30, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0984502203, Paperback)

Moments after her birth to the mistress of a sprawling Virginia plantation, Lisbeth Wainwright is entrusted to Mattie, an enslaved wet nurse. From then on, Mattie serves as Lisbeth's stand-in mother, nursing her, singing her to sleep, and soothing her in the night. And yet mothering Lisbeth tears Mattie away from her own baby, Samuel, who lives in the slave quarters. Growing up under Mattie's tender care, Lisbeth adopts her traditions of prayer, singing, eating black-eyed peas, and hunting for yellow crocuses in the spring. As the years pass, Lisbeth is drawn back into the white world, earning a growing awareness of the inequality of her and Mattie's stations. She struggles to reconcile her love for Mattie with her parents' expectations for her future, intent on keeping the best of both worlds-until a terrible betrayal forces her to choose once and for all. Yellow Crocus is a compelling novel of love, loss, and redemption set during one of the most sinister chapters of American history.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:22:13 -0400)

"Moments after her birth to the mistress of a sprawling Virginia plantation, Lisbeth Wainwright is entrusted to Mattie, an enslaved wet nurse. From then on, Mattie serves as Lisbeth's stand-in mother, nursing her, singing her to sleep, and soothing her in the night. And yet mothering Lisbeth tears Mattie away from her own baby, Samuel, who lives in the slave quarters. Growing up under Mattie's tender care, Lisbeth adopts her traditions of prayer, singing, eating black-eyed peas, and hunting yellow crocuses in the spring. As the years pass and Lisbeth is drawn back into the white world, she slowly becomes aware of the inequality of her and Mattie's stations. She struggles to reconcile her love for Mattie with her parents' expectations for her future, intent on keeping the best of both worlds--until a terrible betrayal forces her to choose once and for all."--back cover.… (more)

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