By Katharine Russell
From the back of the book:
A young girl struggles to understand a tightening web of racial and generational tensions during the turbulent 1960s in the astonishing new novel Deed So by Katharine Russell. All twelve-year-old Haddie Bashford wants is to leave the close-minded world of Wicomico Corners behind, in the hopes that a brighter future awaits elsewhere. But when she witnesses the brutal killing of a black teen, Haddie finds her family embroiled in turmoil fraught with racial tensions. Tempers flare as the case goes to trial, but things are about to get even hotter when an arsonist suddenly begins to terrorize the town.
About the author:
Katharine Russell is a former executive in the health care industry. She has a bachelor's degree in history from Northwestern University, a master's degree in journalism from Boston University and a certificate in creative writing from UCLA's Writers Program.
A descendant of Maryland colonists, who grew up in Southern Maryland, Russell divides her time between Baltimore, Md., and Palm Desert, Calif. Under the pen name Kath Russell, she writes the Pointer Mystery Series.
For more information about Ms. Russell, visit her website at russellwrites.com or her blog at www.russellwrites.blogspot.com
Just my opinion:
I absolutely loved this book! In fact, I really had a difficult time putting it down and read it in no time flat – to the sacrifice of other things I should have been doing. Any time of day or night that I had a few minutes, I could be found with my nose buried in it.
This is the first time I’ve read a book by this author and I was very impressed with her writing. She had such wonderful descriptive phrases (see passages below) that drew you right into the pages.
Having grown up in a similar area during the 1960s, I could easily relate to the tensions the author talked about – the race riots, the war protests, etc. It was, indeed, a turbulent time in the history of our nation and one I hope we never return to. People were outright cruel to each other where politics were concerned. Friendships were broken by the disagreements on where they stood on these topics. And while our boys were fighting for their lives in Vietnam, wars broke out on the streets back home.
Those unfamiliar with those times should definitely read Deed So. Ms. Russell brings to the pages a story that will help bring an understanding of what was happening in the U.S. at the time. Written in the voice of 12-year-old Haddie, the reader begins to see how young people were forced to grow up before their time simply because of the circumstances around them.
An excellent read, well-developed characters, poignant storyline … an all-around good book.
Some favorite passages from the book:
But remember, down here, when we say ‘deed so, what we mean is we recognize the truth.
Her teasing was worse than stepping barefoot on an anthill.
The diminutive coffins looked like flotsam bobbing up the aisle amid the big pallbearers.
The stumps from this year’s harvest left a dark swath like the gap in the mouth of a second-grader.
In the muddy field, the muted swan was gleaning. The heavy bird raised her head to study me. Her breast rose and she flapped her wings, triumphant in the rain as if to say I am in my element, and you are cast adrift, awkward one.
The distance between them yawned like a chasm in the Alps, ferocious with chill.
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