The Pecan Man is a beautiful work of Southern fiction whose first chapter was the first-place winner of the 2006 CNW/FFWA Florida State Writing Competition in the unpublished novel category.
In the summer of 1976, recently widowed and childless, Ora Lee Beckworth hires a homeless old black man to mow her lawn. The neighborhood children call him the Pee-can Man; their mothers call them inside whenever he appears. When the police chief's son is found stabbed to death near his camp, the man Ora knows as Eddie is arrested and charged with murder. Twenty-five years later, Ora sets out to tell the truth about the Pecan Man. In narrating her story, Ora discovers more about herself than she could ever have imagined. This novel has been described as To Kill a Mockingbird meets The Help.
©2012 Cassie Dandridge Selleck (P)2014 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
I love to read books set in interesting places or historical settings. I especially love mysteries and thrillers.
I listened to this audiobook a month ago, but needed time to think before I wrote a review. Actually, I haven't been able to stop thinking about this book. Very touching and thought provoking. I lived in a small Southern town in the 70s. The descriptions of extreme racism and the efforts by some (few) whites to stop it feel correct based on my experiences.
Ora Lee Beckworth is telling a story at the end of her life. While she made some honorable decisions -- when it really mattered, I am still wondering if she did the right thing or not. That will be for you to decide after you listen. The Pecan Man's grace and dignity never waiver. His story is heartbreaking and inspirational. But did he do the right thing. I still don't know.
The 6 hour length of the story was perfect for this strong subject. I am glad I listened to it.
I can find a book to love in any genre -- a beautifully written classic, an interesting mystery or sci-fi, a trashy romance. Bring it!
STORY (historical fiction) - As the summary suggests, this book is about a poor Black man in Florida, 1976ish, who is wrongly accused of murdering a white boy. But the story is really about Ora Lee Beckworth, an elderly widow, and her relationship with her maid Blanche, Blanche's family and, of course, the pecan man. Ora Lee is proper, principled and very kind. She is not perfect, but she does the best she can.
This is a heartwarming story involving racism in the deep south. It's an easy listen, fairly slow-paced and very character-driven. I loved every minute of it, especially the wonderful ending.
PERFORMANCE - The narrator has the perfect voice for Ora Lee as she tells her story. She sounds old but yet strong and intelligent. Great performance, loved it. The only reason I'm not giving it five stars is because the pecan man sounds awful! Thankfully he doesn't talk much.
OVERALL - Highly recommended for adult male and female listeners, but especially lovers of historical fiction (which is usually not my favorite genre). There is no cussing that I recall but there is a murder, and the topic of rape is discussed.
Which came first... the books or the glasses?
I loved every minute of this book. I love it when an author as a story to tell and just tells it without wasting words or using filler just to fill the page to make the book last longer than it needs to. I am now starting to get wary of audiobooks that are 14 or 16 hrs, etc. This audiobook is 6 hrs and the author uses all of those hours to pack each minute with very interesting story telling. It doesn't hurt that the narrator is top notch. I highly recommend this book.
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 am a sucker for southern fiction . . . and boy, did I hit the jackpot on this one! The narration was near perfect, and the story was breathtakingly beautiful, heartbreaking, and true to the spirit of life in Georgia in the 1970s. I'd like to be able to say it wasn't so . . . but it is . . . I lived there . . . and worked there . . . in a hard scramble little town . . . where they might as well have drawn a line down the middle . . . I still live in the south (Alabama) and truth be told, it's not much different now, though people try to put a polite and pretty face on it . . . The Pecan Man is a delightful book . . . and I loved it just as much as I did The Help . . . Mrs. Ora did what we all must do, confront racism and prejudice one day at a time, examining ourselves, rechecking our own attitudes, reaching out in practical ways, getting rid of stinking thinking . . . and most of all loving our fellow men and women . . . there is a grace and love that is only found in the south, which is sometimes only a facade, but as in The Pecan Man, not always . . . that's the south that I love . . . don't miss this wonderful story . . .
Pamela Hart Vines
The subject matter and story line was sad and at times emotional for me to read. I think the overall story was well written and crafted well but I'm not comfortable with the outcome. I don't want to spoil anything for the readers or listeners out there but I'm left feeling sorrowful. I know the main character was flawed but did she receive her just do? Regarding the narrator, I don't think she always did a good job characterizing the young African-American girls. I would have directed her oral interpretation differently.
teacher & book lover
This book was a quick read, but it's story was far reaching. The characters are flawed but lovable, doing what they believe is right in the face of a series of tragic events. Even so, there is joy and love and even a bit of humor throughout the book to keep the heaviness of the events balanced with some smiles. In the end, this book is about the family we make for our selves and the lengths we would go to ease their pain. A lovely, heartbreaking in parts, charming in others, tale by a spirited and sassy old southern lady.
The narrator was so perfectly matched to the story.
The Help due to the time period and subject matter
Listened to this book with my 15 year old daughter while we made the commute to and from school daily and we enjoyed every single minute!
I really enjoyed this book. I don't care what anybody says, I thought it was wonderfully written & all the characters were developed the perfect amount for their role in the story. Should be made into a movie. And the narrator was simply perfect. I thought she was an older lady but in other books she's read--she's not. She just that good. Highly recommend the book & the narrator. Will look for them both again.
I enjoyed this little book, I had only one small disappointment with it. It felt like it jumped through time a little bit to fast. I know i would have enjoyed it more if the everyday life and stories were more abundant. The fault is perhaps more mine as i found myself comparing to "The Help" and "To Kill A Mockingbird" Never the less it is still a nice little book which i did enjoy very much. Easy to finish in full day as it does keep you entertained.
The narrator probably deserves 4 and a half stars. I like to save the 5 stars for the absolute best
I'm a grandmother, wife, mother, literature and writing professor. Listening to audio books has become an obsession, literally.
"Loved it as a Southern woman. Yet it was slightly predictable from my viewpoint as a literature professor."
I was mesmerized by the story, the performance and the "Southernism" of the piece. However, there are are few giveaways, but that's just because I'm used to looking for them.
Buy this book and allow the Southern images and reader's accent to cover you like an worn, well made, cotton quilt.
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