In Jordan's prize-winning debut, prejudice takes many forms, both subtle and brutal. It is 1946, and city-bred Laura McAllan is trying to raise her children on her husband's Mississippi Delta farm—a place she finds foreign and frightening. In the midst of the family's struggles, two young men... read more
In 1946, Laura McAllan, a college-educated Memphis schoolteacher, becomes a reluctant farmer's wife when her husband, Henry, buys a farm on the Mississippi Delta, a farm she aptly nicknames Mudbound. Laura has difficulty adjusting to life without electricity, indoor plumbing, readily... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
In 1946, Laura McAllan, a college-educated Memphis schoolteacher, becomes a reluctant farmer's wife when her husband, Henry, buys a farm on the Mississippi Delta, a farm she aptly nicknames Mudbound. Laura has difficulty adjusting to life without electricity, indoor plumbing, readily accessible medical care for her two children and, worst of all, life with her live-in misogynous, racist, father-in-law. Her days become easier after Florence, the wife of Hap Jackson, one of their black tenants, becomes more important to Laura as companion than as hired help. Catastrophe is inevitable when two young WWII veterans, Henry's brother, Jamie, and the Jacksons' son, Ronsel, arrive, both battling nightmares from horrors they've seen, and both unable to bow to Mississippi rules after eye-opening years in Europe.
“We didn't stay in their country long, but I'll always be grateful to those English folks for how they welcomed us. First time in my life I ever felt like a man first and a black man second.”
“God never gives us a task without giving us the means to see it through. That mama worry come straight from Him, it make it so she can't help but look after that child.”
That’s what it is to love someone: to give whatever you can while taking what you must.Highlighted by 207 Kindle customers
The truth isn’t so simple. Death may be inevitable, but love is not. Love, you have to choose.Highlighted by 203 Kindle customers
Beginnings are elusive things. Just when you think you have hold of one, you look back and see another, earlier beginning, and an earlier one before that.Highlighted by 191 Kindle customers
How I wished sometimes that I could join him in his stark, right-angled world, where everything was either right or wrong and there was no doubt which was which. What unimaginable luxury, never to wrestle with whether or why, never to lie awake nights wondering what if.Highlighted by 158 Kindle customers
Sometimes it’s necessary to do wrong. Sometimes it’s the only way to make things right. Any God who doesn’t understand that can go fuck Himself.Highlighted by 124 Kindle customers
It would be six years into my marriage before I remembered that cleave has a second meaning, which is “to divide with a blow, as with an axe.”Highlighted by 111 Kindle customers
He’d given me all the clues I needed to see the weakness at the core of him, and the darkness. I’d ignored them, preferring to believe the fiction. Jamie had created that fiction, acting the part almost to perfection, but I’d been the one who swallowed it whole. I was to blame, for having fallen in love with a figment.Highlighted by 104 Kindle customers
We didn’t stay in their country long, but I’ll always be grateful to those English folks for how they welcomed us. First time in my life I ever felt like a man first and a black man second.Highlighted by 90 Kindle customers
So it was that our father was laid to rest in a slave’s grave, in a hurried, graceless ceremony presided over by an accusatory colored preacher, while the woman who meant to kill him looked on, stiff-backed and full of impotent rage that somebody else had beaten her to it.Highlighted by 87 Kindle customers
Just like that, my life was overturned. Henry didn’t ask me how I felt about leaving my home of thirty-seven years and moving with his cantankerous father in tow to a hick town in the middle of Mississippi, and I didn’t tell him. This was his territory, as the children and the kitchen and the church were mine, and we were careful not to trespass in each other’s territories. When it was absolutely necessary we did it discreetly, on the furthermost borders.Highlighted by 81 Kindle customers
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