Wednesday, January 13, 2010
About the Book:
Situated in the free state of Ohio, Tawawa House offers respite from the summer heat. A beautiful, inviting house surrounded by a dozen private cottages, the resort is favored by wealthy Southern white men who vacation there, accompanied by their enslaved mistresses. Regular visitors Lizzie, Reenie, and Sweet have forged an enduring friendship. They look forward to their annual reunion and the opportunity it affords them to talk over the changes in their lives and their respective plantations. The subject of freedom is never spoken aloud until the red-maned, spirited Mawu arrives and voices her determination to escape. To run is to leave behind the friends and families trapped at home. For some, it also means tearing the strong emotional and psychological ties that bind them to their masters. When a fire on the resort sets off a string of tragedies, Lizzie, Reenie, and Sweet soon learn tragic lessons, that triumph and dehumanization are inseparable and that love exists even in the cruelest circumstances as they bear witness to the end of an era.
This book was raw and brutally honest about a time in history that a lot of people would like to forget. These women were used and abused, but they didn't let their spirits break. There are so many things I could praise about this book, from the beautiful characterization to the near flawless story. These women never seem like characters. They seem like living breathing people that you want to help. I was moved to tears, literally pouring down my cheeks (thank god my husband wasn't home) while reading this SEVERAL times! Needless to say that I was impressed by the writer's story and her abilities. Dolen Perkins-Valdez has written a wonderful book and has created beautiful and heartbreakingly real characters.