Overview - For a slave in the 1840s South, life on the run can be just as dangerous as life under a sadistic Massa. That's what fifteen-year-old Naomi learns after she escapes the brutal confines of life on an Alabama plantation and takes refuge in a Georgia brothel run by a gun-toting Jewish madam named Cynthia. Read more...
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More About Grace by Natashia Deon
For a slave in the 1840s South, life on the run can be just as dangerous as life under a sadistic Massa. That's what fifteen-year-old Naomi learns after she escapes the brutal confines of life on an Alabama plantation and takes refuge in a Georgia brothel run by a gun-toting Jewish madam named Cynthia. Amidst a revolving door of gamblers and prostitutes, Naomi falls into a love affair with a smooth-talking white man named Jeremy.
The product of their union is Josey, whose white skin and blond hair mark her as different from the others on the plantation. Having been taken in as an infant by a free slave named Charles, Josey has never known her mother, who was murdered at her birth. Josey soon becomes caught in the tide of history when news of the Emancipation Proclamation reaches her and a day of supposed freedom turns into one of unfathomable violence that will define Josey--and her lost mother--for years to come. Grace is a sweeping, intergenerational saga featuring a group of outcast women during one of the most compelling eras in American history. It is a universal story of freedom, love, and motherhood, told in a dazzling and original voice set against a rich and transporting historical backdrop.
- ISBN-13: 9781619027206
- ISBN-10: 1619027208
- Publisher: Counterpoint LLC
- Publish Date: June 2016
- Page Count: 400
- Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
Books > Fiction > Literary
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
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Deón’s powerful debut is a moving, mystical family saga set over the course of 25 years in the deep South. The ghost of Naomi, a woman who escaped slavery, narrates, beginning with her own gruesome murder moments after she delivers her blond-haired baby, Josie. Careening back and forth through time, Naomi first recounts her childhood flight after the grisly murders of her mother and the man who enslaved them. The story lurches from Naomi’s youth in a Georgia brothel to Josie’s childhood in an Alabama plantation house, where she’s been taken in by Annie Graham, a barren white woman. Annie lives with her pedophilic, lecherous brother, George, who preys on Josie when she’s at her most vulnerable. Naomi relives falling in love with a white gambler and becoming pregnant with his child. As a ghost, she hovers over Josie as she, too, falls in love, with the son of Annie’s onetime house slave, Sissy. Naomi must watch helplessly as Josie gives birth to twins whose father leaves not once but twice to fight for their freedom. The book provides penetrating insight into how confusing, violent, and treacherous life remained in the South after the Emancipation Proclamation, and how little life improved for freed slaves, even after the war. The omnipresences of Naomi’s ghost renders the story wide-angled, vast, and magical. Deón is a writer of great talent, using lyrical language and convincing, unobtrusive dialect to build portraits of each tragic individual as the sprawling story moves to its redemptive end. (June)