Friday, May 22, 2009
~Book Review~ In the Land of Cotton by Martha A. Taylor
SLAVERY IS MORE THAN CHAINS AND SHACKLES
SLAVERY IS A STATE OF MIND
Immerse yourself in this highly anticipated political docu-drama set in the Deep South amidst the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement. Martha was a young white girl living in the Deep South, inundated with the racist sentiments of the times. But Martha's natural curiosity and generous heart led her to question this racial divide. When she discovered a primitive Negro family living deep in the woods near her house, everyone's life changed forever. Take the journey of a lifetime alongside Martha as she forges relationships that lead to self discovery and a clearer understanding of the world around her. In the Land of Cotton provides an outstanding snapshot of life in the South during those troubled times - a snapshot everyone should take a close look at, regardless of era or color.
I finished reading this book last night, and all I can say is "Wow! What a read"! Martha's story begins in 1956 when she is a young girl, living in Memphis TN with her family. She is somewhat of a loner, as her parents are gone quite a bit. She receives much needed attention and love from their housekeeper, Lucy Boyd. Lucy listens to Martha, who comforts her when she is troubled. Martha grows attached to Lucy, so naturally she is devastated to hear that when her father loses his job, they have to let Lucy go. Martha is determined to find where Lucy lives...Lucy cares about her and looks after her, unlike her parents. She sets off on her bike one morning, down a mysterious road, where Martha has seen Lucy go when she leaves to go home. She is so excited to find Lucy's home, along with all of Lucy's extended family and their homes....all located in a little grove they call Cypress Grove, after the huge Cypress tree that is in the center of their circle of homes. Lucy becomes a part of the Boyd family, feeling more like she belongs with them than with her own family. Martha befriends Silas, Lucy's nephew, and they become fast best friends. Martha knows that her friendship with Silas is dangerous, but she doesn't care....she comes to love him and the whole Boyd family. When her father lands a job in Texas and they have to move, Martha is devastated. But she and Lucy stay in touch, and through Lucy she is able to stay in touch with Silas. Things continued to get worse all over the country; Kennedy's assassination, riots, Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination, The Viet Nam War....and all the while, Lucy and Silas manage to stay in touch knowing that each time that they are together they are falling more and more in love with each other.
The fact that this book is non-fiction made it even more special. I remember learning about the Civil Rights Movement in history class, but this was so much more than I ever read in any history book. Martha's prose is descriptive, concise and beautiful. This is a story that I will never forget, and I feel honored to have been given the chance to read and review it. Thanks to Martha and Bostick Communications for making that possible. I highly recommend this book to everyone...it is a gem.
"To be part of history is a wonderful experience but, to stand perfectly still holding your breath those precious few seconds when you know history is imminent but before it is written; before it actually becomes history, that is overwhelming." ~Silas Boyd