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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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1441583,153 (4.03)6
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

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  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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Seconds after being born in 1837, Elizabeth Wainwright, born to the white mistress of a Virgina plantation, is delivered into the arms of her wet nurse, Mattie. The move from the fields to the "big house" is suppose to be an honor for a slave, but Mattie is torn away from her own infant son and her grandfather, to take care of Elizabeth (called Lisbeth.) Since Mattie has no say in the matter, she devotes herself to Lizbeth, even though she longs to be raising her own child.

As the years pass, Lizbeth is drawn slowly back into her parents world, and along with that, learns of the expectations that come with being a high-born young lady. She still retains her connection to Mattie, and as she grows older, she becomes more aware of the injustice and inequality around her. On the threshold of her wedding to the debonair Edward Cunningham, she witness a shockingly brutal act, and is forced to choose between what is socially acceptable and what she believes is right, and the decision will change her life forever.

This was a very engaging and compelling novel.I admired Mattie's courage in the face of all of her heartbreak, and watching the character of Lisbeth grow and mature in a realistic way. This very touching story explained the bond between a white woman and her black nurse, but at the same time was a very realistic look at slavery. ( )
  mom2acat | Aug 3, 2014 |
Minutes after her birth, Elizabeth is entrusted to a wet nurse, Mattie, an enslaved wet nurse. Elizabeth is cared for by Mattie whose time is spent with her charge at the expense of Mattie's own child. Elizabeth is raised with the knowledge of both worlds ..that of the slave and that of the white world. ( )
  creighley | Jan 6, 2014 |
Wonderful book. My favorite for the year !! ( )
  susancrowe01 | Apr 25, 2013 |
This story discusses the life of Lisbeth, a plantation owner's daughter, and Mattie, a slave brought in to be Lisbeth's wet nurse. It is a very touching story discussing the relationship between the two people from such different backgrounds. It's told in such a way that shows the feelings and beliefs from the point of view of the slaves and also the white plantation owners. It's wonderful to understand the closeness and love between Lisbeth and Mattie but it's also very sad to read about the treatment of the slaves and accept that these ways were accepted and thought to be 'best' for the slaves ( )
  kim.jacobs | Feb 17, 2013 |
This is a story that is during times of slavery in the South and the relationship a little girl has with her wet nurse. It was interesting reading how wealthy women didn’t breastfeed, rather they had a lactating slave girl breastfeed. This meant that the wet nurse often had to leave her own baby behind to be breastfed by someone in the plantation. The little girl, Miss Lisbeth, becomes so attached to her Mattie, that she gets severely sick when she is separated from her so that Mattie can breastfeed Mattie’s newborn brother. Distraught and feeling helpless, Lisbeth’s mom decides to keep Mattie with her daughter and has another wet nurse take care of her newborn son.

As time passes, the relationship between Mattie and Miss. Lisbeth grows into a relationship of mother/daughter, friend, and helper. Lisbeth breaks conventional rule by walking amongst the others at the slave plantation and teaching Mattie’s son and other plantation children how to read. When we hear the saying ,” knowledge is power”, there is so much truth to that statement! In this book, it is evident as slaves learning to read can potentially be a threat to their plantation owners as they run away and buy tickets to move to the North.

Laila Ibrahim shares the societal and cultural expectations Mattie’s family experiences as she is groomed to be a wife and mother. Mattie is also faced with life/death situations when she decides that she doesn’t want her son to live his last days on the plantation. She desires freedom for her son and that is always at the back of her mind. Both Mattie and Lisbeth are faced with these challenges and pressures as they also navigate through their own relationship and determine if they can truly trust each other.

This story is so complex, with characters faced with life changing situations, that the reader will truly love every bit of this story. It’s a different story from, “The Help”, and one that I actually equally loved! It’s a great book that sheds light on the way America was at one time and the shameful ways people were slaved and abused. ( )
  booksintheburbs | Nov 5, 2012 |
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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)

(summary from another edition)

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