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Publisher's Summary

It is on a medium Creole plantation owned by a family named Derbanne that the stories of four astonishing women who battled vast injustices to create a legacy of hope and achievement came to life. They were women whose lives began in slavery, who weathered the Civil War, and who grappled with the contradictions of emancipation through the turbulent early years of the twentieth century. Through it all, they fought to unite their family and forge success on their own terms.

Amid small farmhouses and a tightly knit community of French-speaking slaves, free people of color, and whites, Tademy's great-great-great-great-grandmother Elisabeth would bear both a proud heritage and the yoke of slavery. Her youngest daughter, Suzette, would be the first to discover the promise - and heartbreak of freedom. Suzette's strong-willed daughter Philomene would use determination born of tragedy to reunite her family and gain unheard-of economic independence. And Emily, Philomene's spirited daughter, would fight to secure her children's just due and preserve their future against dangerous odds.

©2001 by Lalita Tademy (P)2001 by Time Warner AudioBooks (Packaging Elements Only), A Division of Time Warner Trade Publishing

Critic Reviews

  • An Oprah Book Club Selection

" "Melodic voices and elegant description of four generations of African-American women lull you into the past and bring you into the rich, textured lives of the Derbanne family." (AudioFile)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    148
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    104
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    57
  • 2 Stars
    22
  • 1 Stars
    14

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    76
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    55
  • 3 Stars
    31
  • 2 Stars
    9
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Story

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Betty
  • Dobson, NC, USA
  • 06-06-04

Cane River

Wonderful story and narration. As a white women, I felt a part of this family. I would have given 5 stars except that it ends abruptly. It seemed as if the author just ran out of paper.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Susan
  • allen, TX, USA
  • 07-20-04

It's a good one.

I read this because it was on Oprah's list, and it deserved to be. Interesting insight and perspective of the lives of African-Americans before and after the Civil War and slavery. Thought provoking as well as entertaining. Good narration.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Helen
  • ProspectAustralia
  • 01-22-05

Battle between white and colour....

I was alittle hesitant about this book. But knowing it was on Oprahs list I thought I'd give it a try. Absolutely believable. A fascinating listen about a family of 'coloured' people and their struggle to become 'normal and accepted'in the late 1800's/1900's. Whilst listening you feel yourself becoming a part of this family and hoping that they would win the battle between white and coloured people. Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Started alittle slow I thought but definately glad I continued, infact found myself not wanting to 'put it down'!!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Rhonda
  • Cedar Rapids, IA, USA
  • 02-20-04

Excellent book!

Cane River is a wonderfully thought-provoking book. The descriptions of the people and the places are very vivid. It is interesting to compare the dynamics of today's society to the groundwork laid out in this piece of fiction. It was very real. Well worth the download.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Terrific

This is a great story. The author blends history and drama together beautifully.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful period piece

Would you listen to Cane River again? Why?

No, but not because it was not a great book. Loved this book--very informative about the differences in attitudes towards slaves in Catholic Louisiana as opposed to the rest of the deep south,

What other book might you compare Cane River to and why?

Color Purple easily comes to mind.

What three words best describe the narrators’s performance?

There were 3. I cannot understand the need for 3 different narrators. Shari Bellafonte narrated most of it--and was wonderful. The other narrators were not as good,

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

Several sittings

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amy
  • HARRISBURG, NC, United States
  • 02-18-12

A story of strong women

If you're listening to this book while driving, it's the kind of book that will make you want to sit in your car in the garage even after you've arrived home because you're not ready to stop listening.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Cane River Negri Genealogy

This is my second go round and I think it should be required reading in the schools.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A little slow!

I did not get what I expected with this book it seemed to drag. The characters all kind of ran together in my opinion. I would not recommend it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Yawn

I hate to be the first to leave a bad review so I will be mild. This book was so predictable. It was very well read but the story itself was average, there were too many characters to get involved with any single one.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Glowglowgirl
  • 06-23-18

Gripping and warm

lovely female driven family drama. Bittersweet and uplifting. Rocks along and takes you with it.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Judith
  • 10-12-06

Cane River

The readers of the book were engaging. The story line was descriptive and filled with historical detail that captured the imagination. The story was easy to follow.