Sunday, August 1, 2010

Visible Spirits by Steve Yarbrough

Wounds of slavery continue to bleed

I really liked this novel. It was emotionally coherent and I thought presented a woman’s point of view well. Loda Jackson is the African American postmistress of a small Mississippi town in the early 1900’s, placed there by Reconstruction. When a wastrel, Tandy Payne, comes to town, he sees an opportunity to kick her out and take the job himself. A flaw of the novel is that Tandy is a capital V villain. His big brother Loring Payne is the good hearted mayor who wants to be fair. The three of them have a shared painful history, history and family compounded. The blacks in the town are fearful of the whites, fearful of a massacre. One such massacre is related in a flashback. This book is also good about learning about history, though the ending was a little confusing and I wasn’t sure exactly what had happened.

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