Yellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim
Born to white plantation owners but raised by her enslaved black wet nurse, Mattie, Lisbeth’s childhood unfolds on the line between two very different worlds.
Growing up under the tender care of Mattie, Lisbeth adopts her surrogate mother’s deep-seated faith in God, her love of music and black-eyed peas, and the tradition of hunting for yellow crocuses in the early days of spring. In time, Lisbeth realizes she has freedoms and opportunities that Mattie does not have, though she’s confined by the societal expectations placed on women born to privilege. As Lisbeth grows up, she struggles to reconcile her love for her caregiver with her parents’ expectations, a task made all the more difficult as she becomes increasingly aware of the ugly realities of the American slavery system. When Lisbeth bears witness to a shockingly brutal act, the final vestiges of her naiveté crumble around her. Lisbeth realizes she must make a choice, one that will require every ounce of the courage she learned from her beloved Mattie.
This compelling historical novel is a richly evocative tale of love, loss, and redemption set during one of the most sinister chapters of American history.
The relationship between Mattie and Lisbeth was such a touching story. They had a bond that is mostly reserved for a mother and daughter, and I suppose in actuality that’s what they were.
The book is a very emotional read, and is hard to get through without pausing from time to time to take it all in. At least for me it was.
All the characters are well written. It’s hard to comprehend that this is the authors first book, it’s that good. Anyway, the book left me thinking about it for days after I was finished. There are some good times in the book too and that gave me a teeny reprieve from the heavy stuff going on.