Taking place in the 1940s on a Mississippi Delta farm, “Mudbound” by Hillary Jordan is an intriguing read that grabs ahold of the reader, refusing to let go until that final page is read.The book and author been awarded many honors, most notable the 2006 Bellwether prize – an award that goes to an unpublished manuscript that addresses issues involving social justice. Published in 2008, the book has added being the pick for this year’s One City, One Story program.
Rather than being narrated by a single character, the book is narrated by six – Lauren McAllen; her husband Henry; his brother Jamie; and their tenants on the farm, the Jackson family – Hap, Florence, and Ronsel. It tells the story of the McAllen family, who move to a Mississippi farm from the city, a move that takes its toll on Lauren, and the story of the Jacksons, who work for the McAllen’s.
The book deals with the social issues at the time, including rampant racism and violence toward black people, and all of the confusion and heartbreak that can result from it. It also touches on war, infidelity, and relationships between blacks and whites.
Where the book truly shines is the dialogue.
Author Jordan really did her best to write in a way that felt authentic to each character, bringing each one to life. On top of this, she managed to keep the plot moving in smooth and linear format, rather than making the mistake other books with multiple narrators make by have multiple people tell a story.
This truly is an amazing book it has all the makings of becoming an American classic, something that will continue to be talked about for years. This could definitely be a book that future educators may want to have their class read. It is definitely recommended to all.