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The Marrowbone Marble Company: A Novel

by Glenn Taylor

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1878115,870 (3.73)5
Ledford is a lost man, disconnected from the present and haunted by his violent past, until he meets his cousins, the Bonecutter brothers. Their land, the mysterious, elemental Marrowbone Cut, calls to Ledford, and it is there, with help form an unlikely bunch, that the Marrowbone Marble Company is slowly forged. Over the next two decades, the factory town becomes a vanguard of the civil rights movement and the war on poverty, a home for those intent on change. Such a home inevitably invites trouble, and Ledford must fight for his family.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
Wonderful writing, well drawn and interesting characters, with the background of war and the civil rights movement. ( )
  Rdra1962 | Aug 1, 2018 |
I almost NEVER do not finish a book, but I gave up on this. Uggghhhh..... boring!!! It was as if the author sort of had a story line to write about, but not really..... so had to write about whatever the editor recommended. Slowest moving plot imaginable. ( )
  schwager | Nov 21, 2010 |
This book has as its backdrop the Civil Rights Movement in the US and tells the story of Loyal Ledford and his attempts to set up a truely equal society in the back woods of West Virginia. After some harrowing experiences serving in WW2 in the Pacific, Loyal comes back to his old job of furnace attendant at the Mann Glass Factory. Feeling dissatisfied, he decides to build and run his own marble factory on his ancestral land. He takes with him his wife Rachel and his good friend Mack and his wife Lizze who are both black and together start the Marrowbone Marble Company. This is an unheard of alliance for the times and they run into all kinds of prejudice and trouble especially as the grounds become a vanguard of the civil rights movement, the war on poverty and a home for those intent on change. ( )
  librarylandlady | Oct 26, 2010 |
I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher.

Young orphan Loyal Ledford leaves his job at a glass factory to join the Marines after Pearl Harbor. His experiences in Guadalcanal change him forever and he returns home a broken alcoholic plagued by recurring nightmares. Loyal manages to marry the sweetheart he left behind and decides to start a new life on some land owned by distant relatives. A dream tells him to build a marble factory and Loyal uses the opportunity to create a utopian community of blacks and whites working towards to a better life and civil rights. As the fledging community works to create a better world, their ideals of passive resistance and peaceful civil disobedience are challenged in ways they never expected.

I have been putting off reviewing this book because I don't really know how to describe it. To me, it is a male version of Stockett's THE HELP. While it wasn't the most pleasurable read, I find myself bringing it up in conversation over and over again and I can't stop thinking about.....often the hallmarks of a great read for me. While a good part of this book is about the civil rights struggles, I felt an important theme was the conflict between peaceful and violent resistance. The reader must decide along with Loyal whether or not there are times when violence is justified. The bok is incredibly moving and thought-provoking.

BOTTOM LINE: Highly recommended. This may be the best book I've read this year. Excellent character development and filled with challenging and interesting ideas. A great conversation starter that will stay with you for a long time. ( )
1 vote bibanon1 | Jul 27, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
Dwarf pine and yellow moonshine grass Thrive on this dry, rejected land. Hawkweed and bitter sassafras Root-clutch their living from the sand. Black ground was fenced for men to till. The dead of Gauley own this hill.
-Louise Mc Neill
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The ground was the color of rust.
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Ledford is a lost man, disconnected from the present and haunted by his violent past, until he meets his cousins, the Bonecutter brothers. Their land, the mysterious, elemental Marrowbone Cut, calls to Ledford, and it is there, with help form an unlikely bunch, that the Marrowbone Marble Company is slowly forged. Over the next two decades, the factory town becomes a vanguard of the civil rights movement and the war on poverty, a home for those intent on change. Such a home inevitably invites trouble, and Ledford must fight for his family.

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1941. Orphan Loyal Ledford works the swing shift tending the furnace at the Mann Glass factory in Huntington, West Virginia. He courts Rachel, the boss's daughter, a company nurse with spike straight posture and coal black hair. But when Pearl Harbor is attacked, Ledford like so many young men of his time, sets his life on a new course...Upon his return from service in the war, Ledford starts a family with Rachel, but he chafes under the authority at Mann Glass. He is a lost man, disconnected from the present and haunted y his violent past, until he meets his cousins, the Bonecutter brothers. Their land, the mysterious, elemental Marrowbone Cut, calls to Ledford, and it is there, with the helop from an unlikely bunch, that the Marrowbone Marble Company is slowly forged. Over the next two decades, the factory town becomes a vangaurd of the civil rights movement and the war on poverty, a home for those intent on change. Such a home inevitably invites trouble, and Ledford must fight for his family. The Marrowbone Marble Company takes a harrowing look at the issues of race and class throughout the tumultuous 1950s and '60s. It is a story of struggle and loss, righteousness and redemption, and it can only be found in the hills of Marrowbone. -back of book
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