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Mudbound by Hillary Jordan

Mudbound (edition 2009)

by Hillary Jordan

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2,7501994,192 (4.08)300
Mudbound takes on prejudice in its myriad forms on a Mississippi Delta farm in 1946. City girl Laura McAllen attempts to raise her family despite questionable decisions made by her husband. Tensions continue to rise when her brother-in-law and the son of a family of sharecroppers both return from WWII as changed men bearing the scars of combat.… (more)
Authors:Hillary Jordan
Info:Algonquin Books (2009), Paperback, 340 pages
Collections:Your library

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Mudbound by Hillary Jordan


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Showing 1-5 of 197 (next | show all)
Very powerful story ( )
  wincheryl | Jun 20, 2022 |
If you liked "The Help" you would probably enjoy this book. I took it from a goodreads friend's recommendation and she was spot on! It goes into so much more detail and the characters are very full, even the ones who don't go deeper (the Jewish doctor, the "man-ish" store owner). Fantastic writing, I can't believe this is her first book. The setting is Mississippi post WWII, which is very interesting.

Makes me think of the book group I am in, "Banned Books" and their recent discussion of Mark Twain's use of the n-word. If anyone is not reading Mark Twain's stuff because of a word that was used in our history (and currently), then this book is not for you. I think the book (and any of Twain's literature) would be sorely lacking if this (ugly) word wasn't in it. It would be a false representation of the time.

Highly, highly recommend this book. ( )
  BarbF410 | May 22, 2022 |
A story of struggle, family, and devotion. ( )
  swbesecker | Feb 28, 2022 |
At the time it was published, there was a lot of hype about this book, and for that reason I avoided it. I'm sorry I did. In this case, the hype was deserved.
The novel takes on two themes still pertinent today:PTSD suffered by soldiers returning from war (in this case WW II), and race relations, which although this novel is set in 1946 don't seem to have progressed as much as we would have hoped.
Laura and her husband Henry have begun to farm on the Mississippi delta in 1946. They have several sharecroppers, including a black family. Henry's father, a virulent racist and member of the KKK lives with them. Shortly afterwards, Henry's younger brother, Jamie, a war veteran, comes to stay with them. The oldest son of the black sharecroppers, Ronsel, also returns from the war, and he and Jamie strike up a friendship based on their mutual experiences. This doesn't sit well with Henry's father Pappy, or with some of the other townfolk, and we are headed for a tragedy.
The novel is told in alternating chapters by the various characters, including (primarily) Laura, Henry, Jamie, Ronsel, and Ronsel's parents Florence and Hap. The characters are beautifully and realistically depicted, and the story is devastating. Highly recommended.

4 stars ( )
  arubabookwoman | Nov 27, 2021 |
Having now read several of the multiple-generation, multi-race, multiple perspective novels set somewhere in the last century or two, I get bored with them easily. This one stood up to the challenge, however.

The characters are (with the exception of "Pappy," the old cranky grandfather) well developed and real. A couple of plot threads were left unresolved at the end (Where does Ronsel end up? What happens to his kid? Does Henry ever find out about Jaime and Laura? Do they stay on the farm?), but an epilogue would have ruined a lot of the magic of the book.

The characters are so believable that I felt I was listening to a story told by a grandparent, not reading a book about a place I've never been told by a person I've never met. I finished it in less than two days, most of it in one sitting. Definitely made me glad that I grew up in a world much less racist than 1940's Mississippi. ( )
  Cerestheories | Nov 8, 2021 |
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If I could do it, I'd do no writing at all here. It would be photographs; the rest would be fragments of cloth. bits of cotton, lumps of earth, records of speech, pieces of wood and iron, phials of odors, plates of food and of excrement.... A piece of the body torn out by the roots might be more to the point.----James Agee, "Let us Now Praise Famous Men"
To Mother, Gay and Nana, for the stories
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Henry and I dug the hole seven feet deep.
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Mudbound takes on prejudice in its myriad forms on a Mississippi Delta farm in 1946. City girl Laura McAllen attempts to raise her family despite questionable decisions made by her husband. Tensions continue to rise when her brother-in-law and the son of a family of sharecroppers both return from WWII as changed men bearing the scars of combat.

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In this award-winning portrait of two families caught up in the blind hatred of a small Southern town, prejudice takes many forms-some subtle, some ruthless. Mudbound is the saga of the McAllan family, who struggle to survive on a remote ramshackle farm, and the Jacksons, their black sharecroppers. When two sons return from WWII to work the land, the unlikely friendship between these brothers-in-arms-one white, one black-arouses the passions of their neighbors. As the men and women of each family tell their version of events we are drawn into their lives. Striving for love and honor is a brutal time and place, they become players in a tragedy on the grandest scale and find reemption where they least expect it. -back of book
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