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"Als de katoen rijpt..." (original 1937; edition 1948)
by Gwen Bristow
Plantation Trilogy by Gwen Bristow (1937)
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Plantation Trilogy is a interconnected collection of three of Gwen Bristow's books: Deep Summer, The Handsome Road, and This Side of Glory. Deep Summer begins with the settling of Louisiana in the 1700s and comprises the stories of two very different families that discover, in a a time of great ethnic strife, they are not so different after all. The Handsome Road brings to life the Civil War and all the economic and racial issues engendered by that war. This Side of Glory continues into the 20th century where the two families we first meet in Deep Summer finally come together in understanding of their mutual origins and shared experiences. I first read this book while a teenager but it is one I kept on my shelf of "all-time favorite books" that are ripe for many re-readings. I recall becoming so ensconced into the characters that I just knew I was really a part of their families. I've thought about them often in the intervening years and recommend this book to anyone interested in American historical fiction and great character development.
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Plantation Trilogy (omnibus)
An epic, multigenerational historical fiction saga that follows the intertwined fates of three Louisiana families--from a New York Times-bestselling author. The Plantation Trilogy is an epic series of historical novels that bring to life the history of Louisiana, from its settlement in the late eighteenth century to the post-World War I era, via the intertwined lives of the members of three families: the Sheramys, the Larnes, and the Upjohns. Deep Summer is the story of Puritan pioneer Judith Sheramy and adventurer Philip Larne, who marry and strive to build an empire in the Louisiana jungle during the time of the American Revolution. The Handsome Road tells the story of plantation mistress Ann Sheramy Larne and poor Corrie May Upjohn, who forge an unlikely bond of friendship as they struggle to survive the cataclysms of the Civil War and Reconstruction. This Side of Glory presents the story of Eleanor Upjohn, a modern young woman in the early twentieth century who marries charming Kester Larne and struggles to save the debt-ridden plantation that her husband's ancestors founded more than one hundred years ago.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)813.52 — Literature English (North America) American fiction 20th Century 1900-1944
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Anyway, "Deep Summer" is the story of Judith Sheramy who marries Philip Larne and together they build a family and a plantation. This is set in the Louisiana territory pre-revolution. "The Handsome Road" is the story of two branches of the family, the poor white trash of Corrie May Upjohn, and the plantation family of the Larnes. Most of the second book takes place after the Civil War. "This Side of Glory" is set in 1912 through WW I and is how the families connect again.
From reading this long ago, I hadn't wanted to read "The Handsome Road" again because I recalled it being a story of endless misery, but it's really the best of the bunch.
If you can keep in your head when the books were written and what the south was like at that time, you can probably make it through these books and they would make a good summer read. ( )