Nothing can mend a broken heart quite like family. Sherry has struggled all her life to understand who she is, where she comes from, and, most important, why her mother slapped her cheek one summer afternoon. The incident has haunted Sherry, and it causes her to dig into her family's past. Like many family histories, it is fractured and stubbornly reluctant to reveal its secrets. But Sherry is determined to know the full story. In just a few days' time, her extended family will gather for a reunion, and Sherry sets off across the country with her mother, Dumpling, to join them. What Sherry and Dumpling find on their trip is far more important than scenic sites here and there - it is the assorted pieces of their family's past. Pulled together, they reveal a history of amazing survival and abundant joy.
Bernice L. McFadden is the author of eight critically acclaimed novels including the classic Sugar, Gathering of Waters (a New York Times Editors' Choice), and Glorious, which was featured in O: The Oprah Magazine and was a finalist for the NAACP Image Award. She is a two-time Hurston/Wright Legacy Award finalist, as well as the recipient of two fiction honor awards from the BCALA. McFadden lives in Brooklyn, New York.
©2013 Bernie McFadden (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
Moving, lyrical, and heartbreaking
Her compelling portrayals of a variety of African American characters across historical and geographical contexts. She outdid herself.
Many moments moved me. I'd rather not spoil them for a prospective listener.
Bernice McFadden's writing is brilliant and sensual. She makes it easy to imagine the scenarios she creates.
I'm Audible's first Editor-at-Large, the host of In Bed with Susie Bright -- and a longtime author, editor, journo, and bookworm. I listen to audio when I'm cooking, playing cards, knitting, going to bed, waking up, driving, and putting other people's kids to bed! My favorite audiobooks, ever, are: "True Grit" and "The Dog of the South."
Bernice L. McFadden is a powerhouse of contemporary African American literature. She weaves together the personal and historical in a way that makes her stories matter deeply to the listener.
McFadden writes confident, lyrical fiction exploring family dynamics, and the past. History and family history--one and the same; slavery, escape, Native Americans, Africans and European slave owners-- their fates bound and futures woven together by DNA.
On a road trip from Las Vegas to Georgia, the tensions and skeletons in the closet of a mother and daughter bubble. Sherry presses her mother, Dumpling, for family stories. What unfolds is a family history rife with tragedy and courage. Sherry comes to understand the dynamics of her family, and finds the inspiration to reveal her own deep secrets.
Robin Miles gives a stunning narration, bringing sympathy to both mother and daughter in.
Dogs believe they are human. Cats believe they are God.
Wish I could give 10 stars for this book! The story and the performance are top notch.
This is one I will listen to again.
This book is definitely in my top 10. I loved the imagery and the complexity of the characters. Even the antagonists had depth.
I would compare this book to Cane River, another favorite, because of the use of imagery in both is so wonderful that the reader can imagine themselves there.
Robin Miles is an expert at reading. You can see the expressions on the character's face just by emphasis Robin puts on certain words through her expert use of inflections and tones.
Although I didn't cry, I was deeply moved.
This was a wonderful book that deals with the complexity of relationships, especially between mother and daughter. I highly recommend this book! Definitely worth the credit!
Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.
I have always loved historical fiction, especially that of the south. Being a southerner, I'm saddened about much of what happened in our history, while even like those in this story, still love so many things about it. Truth is a harsh task master, and while some listeners complain about the obvious incest and sexual abuse in the book, one must admit and face that, it happened. And the balm for healing is the facing up to the past, the taking in of the truth and moving on toward happiness. This book is more than a past tale of slavery, it's a story of strength DURING those times, of incredible LOVE, and horrific decisions that had to be made for survival, and the CHOICE to continue to LOVE after it was all said and done. It's also the story of a modern day mother and daughter, who have never seen eye to eye, but in the telling of the past are able to find themselves and each other. Narration is perfect. Writing is great.
Stayed up late to listen to the end. Spent the hours learning to love this family. I cried with them, laughed with then. The author came as close as I've ever come to understand the strenth of family and the strengh of character it takes to overcome fractures and become whole.
I will look for other writings by Ms McFaddon and I would be willing to listen to Robin Miles anytime!
I really enjoyed this one!!! Dumpling was my favorite character!! I love how the story take you back in the past of their family history till now!!
This is only my second book...but it is definitely a new favorite.
Without going into detail, as I would not want to ruin it for others...one of the most memorable moments, and there were many, was the interaction between Lou and her boy. I was taken aback by it!
The emotion of the characters. conveyed through the subtle unspoken words and pauses. And the accents when words were spoken. She made me feel like I was being spoken to directly...like I was a part of the journey.
I just wouldn't...to change the title would detract from the essence of the book. The title is amazingly perfect!
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book and so much so that I have encouraged my daughters to take a listen. I will listen to it again...definitely!! Bernice McFadden is a fantastic writer and will be added to my collection of favorite authors.
While an understanding of the social and cultural problems that lead to incest and abuse may be a necessary study to help victims of abuse, I do not read novels to be assaulted by the sexual perversities of characters in the name of story-telling.
This is such a disturbing and unhappy story, I could not even finish reading it. That the writer takes pleasure in a pornographic explanation of vile actions is clear and sad. Not all stories need to be heard. Certainly not in the name of entertainment, which is the reason I choose to read novels.
Perhaps a rating guide for books is in order. I do not view R-rated movies for much the same reason. Why would I choose to 'associate' with these type of people when I would not choose to be in their company? Foul-mouthed and amoral people are not my cup of tea.
A need to wash, mentally especially, is the immediate reaction to this type of read.
The book started out kind of confusing and didn't make sense. I almost stopped listening, but I am glad I didn't. It turned out to be a really good, interesting story. There were a lot of sections that were hard for me to listen to because of the hatred and violence against the slaves. It broke my heart, but I know that is how they were treated.
I really liked the ending.
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