Stokes, ain't nothin' bad ever changed to good without startin' a little commotion' she replied. But God taught me a lesson about angels that day. They don't always wear wings and carry harps. We best be on our guard and keep our minds on what's right and true so we don't become things we'll regret. Good did come, slowly. Respect was lost and gained. Love was lost and gained.
But self respect always grows when you do the right thing. Even when it's hard. Even when it feels like everyone is against you, from both sides.
I highly recommend this book to anyone. Though the spoken slang is difficult at times it flows well so it doesn't annoy me as much as it typically does. This book is very well written but also written simply enough that a middle age reader would do well with it. Jennifer Erin Valent created something that has the potential to speak to anyone. No matter your faith, no matter your feeling on race, there is something here for everyone to take away from it. If only you take the time to look at yourself in the process.
One person found this helpful 2 people found this helpful. As I began to read this award-winning novel by Jennifer Erin Valent, it's difficult to believe it's a "first novel"! She opens with the revelation that when she turned thirteen, she 'thought she'd killed a man'.
The story keeps you pretty much on edge from the beginning with life-like characters who speak very early southern dialect from down on the farm or cotton patch. It's very easy for me to understand such dialect, having grown up in the early 's although this was set in the 's , because I grew up in Kentucky coal country, where we spoke in the same manner.
Excitement grows as the character and her family take in a little black child whose house was burned down and her parents killed in the fire. You just don't do that in those days with the KKK living in your town! Trouble is constantly brewing and people want you to do things their way-and taking in a colored girl Not wanting to allow anger, hatred, and injustices dictate over love and compassion, the family firmly decides to keep her anyway.
Murder, arson, and threats become the normal for this compassionate and loving family. Well, where is it?
In , Gemma's parents are killed in a house fire so she comes to live with her 13 year old best friend's family. Needless to say, it was worth every penny I paid for it! Though marketed as adult fiction, this is really more a coming-of-age novel than anything else. I would be crying at times without realizing it. This was a book that I didn't just read, I felt it.
Faith in God to prove that love will conquer over evil is this family's sustaining belief. If you enjoy suspense and intrigue, you should love this story It's the depression years when segregation owned it boundaries. Jessilyn Lassiter is turning 13 on a hot day in Virginia, an array of folks comin to join in on the fun The Lassiters have a farm and hire hands, mostly African Americans. Gemma's ma and pa work for the Lassiters in the field and the missus in the home.
Gemma, their daughter,15, has grown up with Jessi and traditions be damned they are the best of friends. One night during a horrible storm Gemma's house catches fire; she loses both her parents in the inferno. Jessi's daddy had always promised to raise Gemma if anything happened and being a man of his word he does. This gets the small southern town in Virginia mighty riled up.
The Lassitars are scorned, shunned and no one will let Jessi or Gemma near their children or homes. Not satisfied with just shunnin and hatin the Lassiters, the KKK decides to do much more to them. This creates a hive of suspense that buzzes night and day and has the reader on the edge the whole way through. Highly charged, this book never lets the reader relax for one moment as they shiver and shake their way to the end.
The author brings us the South, the hatred, the intense heat, the love of a child for another, the good folk and bad. Valent's descriptions, Southern accents, visual scenes, jump from the page till the reader gladly becomes one with the story. I noticed there are two follow-up novels and with my Christmas gift cards I intend to get them both.
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Jessilyn's mother wrestles with the social cost of challenging convention, her father is a dream dad and the neighbor's wisdom is as spicy as her cake. Jessilyn's romantic interest and penchant for trouble keep the tone light while the plot reminds readers of the evil that ordinary human beings are capable of doing, even in the name of righteousness. The book stares down violence and terror, making its affirmation of surprising goodness believable. Thank you for using the catalog. When her best friend, Gemma, loses her parents in a tragic fire, Jessilyn's father vows to care for her as one of his own, despite the fact that Gemma is black and prejudice is prevalent in their southern Virginia town.
Race relations -- Fiction. Summary "The summer I turned thirteen, I thought I killed a man. Publisher's Weekly Review When her best friend Gemma's parents are killed in a house fire, Jessilyn Lassiter's parents take the girl in. Make this your default list. The following items were successfully added.