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Home Across the Road by Nancy Peacock
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Home Across the Road

by Nancy Peacock

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"The universe is made of stories, not atoms." - Muriel Rukeyser
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For Momma
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In 1971, China Redd was waiting to die.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553381024, Paperback)

Every family has secrets, but the Redds have more than most. Consider, for example, the fact that this North Carolina clan has two distinct branches, the white Redds and the black Redds, their former slaves. Through seven generations, their histories and their blood have mixed, culminating in the present-day occupants of Roseberry Plantation, solitary Coyle Redd and his black housekeeper (and distant cousin), China. When Coyle puts the dilapidated mansion up for auction, it would seem that the two families' shared past will finally come to an end; but in Nancy Peacock's remarkable saga, Home Across the Road, blood ties are not so easily severed. Skillfully jumping from present to past and back again, Peacock traces the Redd connection back to antebellum days when white plantation owner Jennis Redd fathered the child of his slave, Cally. When the boy, Cleavis, is 6 years old, Redd's jealous wife accuses him of stealing a pair of earrings that her own son really took, and has him sold away. In retaliation, Cally takes the earrings herself and buries them under the floor of her slave cabin. From this point on, the fortunes of the black Redds improve while those of the white Redds decline.

Peacock mixes a little magic into the parallel histories she tells, and conjures up an exquisite novel that is part ghost story, part meditation on the ineffable power of blood and history to bind people to a place, to each other, and to patterns of behavior that repeat themselves through the years. Home Across the Road is spare in its prose style but rich in the themes it mines. --Sheila Bright

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:59 -0400)

Planter Jennis Redd has a son by a slave and his wife sells himout of jealousy. So begins a multi-generation Southern saga of lust and betrayal featuring two lots of Redds, the white owners and the black servants.

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