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Yellow Crocus | [Laila Ibrahim]

Yellow Crocus

Moments after Lisbeth is born, she’s taken from her mother and handed over to an enslaved wet nurse, Mattie, a young mother separated from her own infant son in order to care for her tiny charge. Thus begins an intense relationship that will shape both of their lives for decades to come. Though Lisbeth leads a life of privilege, she finds nothing but loneliness in the company of her overwhelmed mother and her distant, slave-owning father.
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Publisher's Summary

Moments after Lisbeth is born, she’s taken from her mother and handed over to an enslaved wet nurse, Mattie, a young mother separated from her own infant son in order to care for her tiny charge. Thus begins an intense relationship that will shape both of their lives for decades to come. Though Lisbeth leads a life of privilege, she finds nothing but loneliness in the company of her overwhelmed mother and her distant, slave-owning father. As she grows older, Mattie becomes more like family to Lisbeth than her own kin and the girl’s visits to the slaves’ quarters - and their lively and loving community - bring them closer together than ever. But can two women in such disparate circumstances form a bond like theirs without consequence? This deeply moving tale of unlikely love traces the journey of these very different women as each searches for freedom and dignity.

©2014 Laila Ibrahim (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (1416 )
5 star
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2 star
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4.5 (1298 )
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4.7 (1295 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Elizabeth Bellevue, WA, United States 12-12-14
    Elizabeth Bellevue, WA, United States 12-12-14 Member Since 2015

    A school administrator and avid reader and listener of books. At least an hour of every day is spent in the car, and that's where the bulk of my listening is done. I tend to listen to books on "faster" mode so I can get through more books!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Completely Enjoyable"

    This story is touching and enjoyable, and challenges one's assumptions about relationships, care-taking, roles in society and the pre-Civil War south. This certainly isn't a ground-breaking book, but it is a sweet and thoughtful story.

    21 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy Davis, CA, United States 02-22-15
    Kathy Davis, CA, United States 02-22-15 Member Since 2008

    Newly retired, I am a reading fiend! I like many types of books, both fiction and non-fiction, with the exception of romance and fantasy

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A rare find, a 5 star book!"

    I don't rate all good books with 5 stars, but I have absolutely nothing to nitpick about this audiobook. I enjoyed everything about it, and I am sure it will remain in my memory for a long time to come.

    I am often wary of reading a "slave" book, just like I am of a "holocaust" book. It takes some emotional bracing and mental preparation beforehand, but I will not avoid these two heartrending and important subjects.

    This book was beautifully written. The characters were well-developed and all very believable. Whether I loved them or hated them, I could surely understand their motivations and behaviors based on the times and the setting they resided in. The slavery period can make for very sad and uncomfortable reading, but author Ibrahim handled this with finesse, neither appealing to or manipulating our emotions and our guilt, nor glossing over it to make it more palatable. I feel the story was well-balanced and the facts of the period were presented in a non-preachy and non-exaggerated manner.

    The story was engrossing to me. I really cared what happened to the two main characters, Mattie and Lisbeth. I held my breath at times when they exhibited behaviors that would likely put them in real danger, and I sighed with relief when it seemed that they would be all right. The ending was very intense and emotional--I listened with rapt attention, even though I believed I knew what was going to happen. This book is an example of what I refer to as "an author taking care of their readers."

    The narration, in case you are wondering, was just perfect. I hope to find more audiobooks narrated by Turpin in the future.

    18 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    paula 01-25-15
    paula 01-25-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Highly Recommend!"
    What made the experience of listening to Yellow Crocus the most enjoyable?

    The story was very good and the narration was excellent.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Yellow Crocus?

    The most memorable moment of the book for me was when Elizabeth backed out of her impending marriage. I was very proud of her when she threw the jewelry down after returning the very expensive necklace given to her for her wedding.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    My favorite scene was when Mattie was allowed to return to the child Elizabeth when she was very ill and would not eat.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I loved this book. I am very partial to books about the Civil War era and slavery era because I love American history. It is so interesting to read and find out about how life was in that time period.


    Any additional comments?

    The part of the story in which Elizabeth and her husband moved to Ohio to build a home was very good. The story of how slavery was overcome, even by one person at a time, is so uplifting. It always makes me proud to be American where freedom and democracy are alive and well.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Colorado Springs, Colombia 02-01-15
    Linda Colorado Springs, Colombia 02-01-15 Member Since 2015
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    "A Powerful Story Well Told"

    I loved this book! It is a compelling tale about the evils of slavery and the resilience of the human spirit. I recommend it highly.

    17 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MissSusie66 02-27-15
    MissSusie66 02-27-15 Member Since 2010

    MissSusie

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    "Beautiful southern historical fiction"

    I read this book in print back in 2012 and if I remember right I read it in Bahni’s voice so was very happy to listen to the real thing. Bahni Turpin’s narration was amazing; she is such a great narrator. Every character has their own voice and her male voices are great too. She makes this story come to life and embodies every character and makes them real.


    This is a beautifully written book about a young white girl Lisbeth or Miss Elizabeth as her parents want her known as who grows up on Fair Oaks Plantation in the 1800’s. When Lisbeth is born she is handed from her mother to slave/wet-nurse Mattie who has been taken from the Quarters and her newborn son to the Big House and Elizabeth’s mother thinks she should be so grateful to be living in the lap of luxury. As time goes on Lisbeth learns to love and depend on Mattie much more than her own mother but Lisbeth is young and naïve and doesn’t realize there is much more to life on the plantation than she is seeing.

    This is a coming of age story as we watch Lisbeth from the time she is born till she is a grown woman, we watch as innocence is replaced with knowledge and knowledge is not always a happy thing. This realization is a slow building and at times Lisbeth doesn’t want to see but when the time comes she has to make a choice- “ Decisions to make, she thought to herself. She was too tired to make any more decisions.”

    I loved the character of Mattie she has this outlook on life that is inspiring especially considering the life she lives as a slave. And even though she had to leave her own child to take care of Lisbeth she loved the girl.

    These characters were so real to me I could hear their voices in my head; I could see what they saw. This author gave voice to these people in such a beautiful way I can’t even come close to finding the correct words to explain it. This is a debut novel and I am amazed by that and hope this author writes many. Many more books because I plan on reading them all!

    Beautiful southern historical fiction I highly recommend!

    5 Stars

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Twila 11-20-14
    Twila 11-20-14
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    "Best Book Ever!"
    What made the experience of listening to Yellow Crocus the most enjoyable?

    How the story was told, almost as if you were there.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Mattie of course!


    What about Bahni Turpin’s performance did you like?

    She just knows how to tell the story. I have listened to some of her other books also. Her voice is calm.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    That is for sure!! I hated leaving this book to do other chores:-( I didn't want the story to end!!!!


    Any additional comments?

    THIS JUST TOOK THE PLACE OF THE BEST BOOK I HAVE EVER LISTENED TO!!!

    13 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B Rose Ivins, UT USA 09-17-14
    B Rose Ivins, UT USA 09-17-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Great Book"
    What did you love best about Yellow Crocus?

    Everything


    What did you like best about this story?

    It is so heart warming.


    Which character – as performed by Bahni Turpin – was your favorite?

    Mattie


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Too many to chose one


    Any additional comments?

    Could not put this down. Listened to it in one day.

    13 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bbentley 02-03-15
    bbentley 02-03-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Pulls at your heart strings"

    This was my first experience with audible. I chose the book because of cost after downloading the app. I am so very pleased with this my selection. This is not something that I normally read, but I absolutely fell in love with the story line, era, and the characters. I couldn't wait til bedtime for the last week so I could put in my earbuds and listen the more of the story. I am going to pick up a paperback version for my mother now. I know she will enjoy it just as much as I have. Wonderful story of love and real life. Although I cannot personally relate to the time and ways of life, I felt as the author did a great job of portraying how things really were. Fabulous story.

    12 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Taryn Suffern, NY, United States 02-08-15
    Taryn Suffern, NY, United States 02-08-15 Member Since 2006

    Addicted to Audible!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "slow, plodding, young adult book"

    Even Bahni Turpin's amazing narration can't save this book. I think if it was labeled YA it would be fine, I can see a 6th-8th grader liking it and I would recommend it to a young person to read.However, as an adult who is an avid reader there is absolutely nothing original in this story. It was repetitive and boring. I can't even remember how many times she sang the same lullaby, it was enough to put me to sleep for sure. Bottom line for me is label this Young Adult and that way people will understand what they are getting into when they purchase it. Very disappointed

    56 of 71 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David L. 01-30-15
    David L. 01-30-15
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    "Heartwarming"

    This a book that took me South 165 years ago. It touched my soul and my heart. The story helped me get a glimpse into the lives of two strong women of the South.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
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  • Ann
    Newcastle, England
    2/7/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic, loved it!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely! A great story, perfectly narrated.


    What other book might you compare Yellow Crocus to, and why?

    The Help.


    Any additional comments?

    I found this to be a fabulous novel. I'm amazed to discover that no agent would take it on because they believed there would be no market for a story! It was published by the author herself in the end. Its a fantastic portrayal of an enslaved black woman and a privileged white woman, from when they were wet nurse and baby, then spanning over 22 years. The writing was beautiful, transporting me in time and place until I felt like I was right there with them, watching from the sidelines. All of the characters were so well drawn and I loved how the story naturally evolved into two parts - Maddie's narrative, followed by Lisbeth's. I also found the ending to be perfect.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • margaret
    7/26/15
    Overall
    Performance
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    "Brilliant"

    Really enjoyed this book, recommend it to those who liked Twelve Years a Slave. Narration very good with lots of light and shade in reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Susan
    United Kingdom
    6/2/15
    Overall
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    "Truly absorbing, an emotional journey!"

    The realities of life for both black and white at that time and place are finely crafted in Yellow Crocus. History written through the experiences of Mattie and Lisbeth describes inhuman hatred and the despicable period of deep southern slavery into a story full of hope and transformation. Truthful and painful but ultimately about the abiding bond of love between the white baby and her black wet nurse.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bernice
    United Kingdom
    3/31/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautiful! Beautiful!"
    Where does Yellow Crocus rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I have never heard of this author, but this is a book that I would recommend to my friends. It is similar to 'The Help' and possibly as good. I throughly enjoyed it.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Yellow Crocus?

    I would not wish to spoil the story, but there were times when it all became so emotional, I had to switch it off for a moment, just to take the whole story in.


    What about Bahni Turpin’s performance did you like?

    Lovely. An authentic narration that brings the story to life.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Very emotional throughout. A gripping storyline


    Any additional comments?

    Loved it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • sue
    fordingbridge, United Kingdom
    9/1/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "impulse purchase"

    Impulse but well worth it, lovely book slightly slow but not a problem.
    The accent of young Lisbeth was a bit grating but thats my only moan.
    No tears but I really enjoyed it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Suzy
    8/30/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting subject but rather idealised story"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Yes, I would recommend as I found learning about plantation life from the perspective of slave and owner to be interesting. We also see how much it was expected that children follow their parents


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The first half of the book detailing Maddie's relationship with her young charge (as a wet nurse) was most interesting although slow paced. When the story switches to follow Lisbeth as an adult I found the increase in pace welcome, but the story rather unbelievable at this point. It was clear where the story was heading (to a Hollywood ending).


    Have you listened to any of Bahni Turpin’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    N/a


    If this book were a film would you go see it?

    Not sure. I don't think a film could offer more for me, and this tale is not as realistic as 12 Years a Slave which was made into a harrowing film.


    Any additional comments?

    Overall worth listening to for education on the subject matter, rather than being a jolly good story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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