By Hoy Kersh
From the back of the book:
“In vibrant and emotive prose, Kersh shares the sorrows and joys of growing up in the dirt-road, Jim Crow South in the 1940s and early 50s, just prior to the Civil Rights Movement. As she tends her sweet garden and fends off the Klan, her compassion shows us a way beyond the pain.”
This book started off with a bang, so to speak. The girl in the book shares her first memory of fear as her family whisks her off to another state as they run for their lives from the Klan members who have sworn to kill them.
From there, she tells the tale of her life – the prejudices she faced, the events that formed her beliefs and anecdotes about friends and family.
I’ll admit … I expected more from this book. Maybe I wanted to hear how she overcame the roadblocks to go on to become a songwriter and performer, but the book ends too soon.
What I did read, however, was fascinating. This is a person who lived through that tumultuous period in the history of our country and decided to tell about it. I’m sure it wasn’t easy to recall some pretty traumatic childhood memories – as we all have – or to put them on paper for the world to read.
The book is well written, but there were a couple spots where you could read the anger, which I found disconcerting. At those points, she began to cuss and I found it a bit out of character. She suddenly went from the young girl’s experiences to the adult’s recollections. Those, in my opinion, are two entirely different things. I enjoyed reading the child’s feelings that were apparent throughout the rest of the book.
All in all, this is a good book and provides some lessons in the history of our nation – albeit, a negative part of our history. It might not be a bad idea to make this a required reading for high school or early college students if it can get past the censors who want to ban anything that tells our children the truth!
Pick up this book if you get a chance. You should enjoy it.