In this wise, beguiling, and beautiful novel set in the era of the Civil War, award-winning playwright and author J. California Cooper paints a haunting portrait of a woman named Always and four generations of her African-American family.
In this beautifuly textured first novel by the author of the acclaimed short story collection Homemade Love , the history of one slave family becomes symbolic for all slaves and slaveholders. Clora, the granddaughter of a slave and a slaveholder, refuses to accept her life as chattel and, as did her mother, escapes slavery by committing suicide. She had tried to poison her children first, but they survive and Clora's spirit narrates their story, beginning with her daughter Always. Although her siblings pass for white to escape, dark Always endures the misery of slavery including frequent rape by the slave owner. Stealing his gold to save for anticipated freedom, she risks her life to learn how to read. When she and his wife give birth to sons at the same time, Always switches the babies, of like complexion. Her son grows up in freedom, while she raises the other as a slave--a masterful metaphor for the psychological bondage that slavery imposed on slave masters. Both young men survive the Civil War, and Always lives to see them prosper after emancipation. However, as Clora narrates, racism replaces slavery and humankind continues to suffer from its divisions. With power and grace, Cooper weaves the dialect, style and myths of the South into a portrait of the hell that was slavery. Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club alternate; author tour.
I love all of her books and have read every book more then once 🤗
This book makes me feel and want to build and keep a family knowing that it’s the only thing that matters
Although this book is fiction, it does an excellent job of chronicling family trees of African Americans during the era that is covered in this book. I had to read this for a local book club I attended and got hooked on book by Ms. Cooper
A page turner
Honestly, I love all of her books. She's a great author and she never lets me down. Her writing style is impressive and inspiring. This was my second time reading this book and I recommend it to all!