In the years following the Civil War, Mariah Reddick, former slave to Carrie McGavock--the "Widow of the South"--has quietly built a new life for herself as a midwife to the women of Franklin, Tennessee. Read more...
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In the years following the Civil War, Mariah Reddick, former slave to Carrie McGavock--the "Widow of the South"--has quietly built a new life for herself as a midwife to the women of Franklin, Tennessee. But when her ambitious, politically minded grown son, Theopolis, is murdered, Mariah--no stranger to loss--finds her world once more breaking apart. How could this happen? Who wanted him dead?
Mariah's journey to uncover the truth leads her to unexpected people--including George Tole, a recent arrival to town, fleeing a difficult past of his own--and forces her to confront the truths of her own past. Brimming with the vivid prose and historical research that has won Robert Hicks recognition as a "master storyteller" (San Francisco Chronicle).
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-07-25
- Reviewer: Staff
Hicks’s (The Widow of the South) latest yarn opens two years after the end of the Civil War, focusing on freed slave Mariah Reddick, a trusted and sought-after midwife in Franklin, Tenn. Mariah now has a grown son, Theopolis, a cobbler with political aspirations. Mariah becomes acquainted with George Tole, a free black New Yorker whose reputation as a sharp-shooting assassin precedes him to Franklin. But George has been coerced by an evil Franklin magistrate, Elijah Dixon, to do his bidding, and when a political rally at which Theopolis tries to take the stage becomes violent, the young man is killed—but it’s not clear who killed him. The lives of Mariah and George converge as Mariah seeks retribution and George seeks redemption, each playing a major role in unmasking the latent nastiness among the deeply prejudiced Franklin citizenry. Hicks is a talented storyteller, and this story moves at a clip, but it feels deliberate and inorganic, his characters sometimes seemingly just vehicles moving the story forward. Mariah has lost her only son, yet she shows an unbelievable lack of emotion. The bad guys, while compelling, are amusing caricatures. Only George seems truly flesh and blood, and is the most memorable character. Agent: Jeff Kleinman, Folio Literary. (Sept.)