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Publisher's Summary

Lalita Tademy was vice president of Sun Microsystems until she left corporate life to research the history of her family. The result of her two-year search is Cane River, a novel which quickly became both a New York Times best seller and an Oprah's Book Club selection.

Cane River is an isolated community that lies on a small river in central Louisiana. There in the early 19th century, slaves, free people of color, and Creole French planters lived and worked, loved and bore children. And there, 165 years later, Tademy discovers her amazing heritage. Beginning with her great-great-great-great grandmother, a slave owned by a Creole family, Tademy chronicles four generations of strong, determined black women. A combination of meticulously-researched genealogy and superb storytelling makes Cane River a truly unique experience. As the author peels back layers of racial and cultural attitudes, she paints a remarkable picture of rural Louisiana and the resilient spirit of one unforgettable family.

©2001 Lalita Tademy (P)2002 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

This book and story was wonderful

Because of the French undertone I had a hard grasping the story and characters in the beginning but around the 3rd chapter I finally got it together and was enthralled with the storyline. great book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Wendy
  • Washington, DC, United States
  • 06-21-17

incredible

This book is so good even to the very end. It is never borong or repetitive. The narrator is wonderful bringing the story to life woth fabulous accents and dialects. Masterfully written and narrated.

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
  • Lindy
  • Roseburg, OR USA
  • 07-22-14

Fascinating historical page-turner

What made the experience of listening to Cane River the most enjoyable?

The fluid narration, well developed and memorable characters, accurate setting, complex but easily followed story line, and an overall better than Mitchner accomplishment.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Philomine - her character is so authentic, with the strengths and foibles portrayed believably every step of the storyline.

Have you listened to any of Robin Miles’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not, but it was the best performance I've heard yet on Audible. Her elocution was excellent and her French fluency was natural.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

A riveting document-drama too important to miss!

Any additional comments?

I enjoyed this book more than any other I've listened to from Audible. I predict a tremendous success for Ms Tademy's literary career.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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

Intense

This book was INTENSE! The time-frame is from the 1830s to the 1930s. The backdrop was in Louisiana on a medium-sized Creole plantation owned by a family named Derbanne. The four main women in the book were Elisabeth, Suzette, Philomene, and Emily. The author, Lalita Tademy, created this work of fiction based on stories she heard about her great, great, great, great grandmother, who happened to be the girl in the fifth generation in the book. While the time and experiences shared in the book were based on historical facts, the story line itself was a work of fiction created from the author's own mind on how life might have been like for her great, great, great, great grandmother. I normally do not like reading books like this, however, I found myself enjoying the dynamics of each complex character and how the women found a way to overcome what life threw at them no matter how the dice rolled against them. I found this a very emotional read and enjoyed the book until the end. The end pissed me off so much that I threw the book across the room. I felt it was wrong to end the book the way the author did.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing Story

The story teller was amazing. The book portrays a story not heard during America's history of the pre and post civil war era. The evils of slavery and the ramifications of it. Highly recommend.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A beautifully told story of strong women...

This story has inspired me to learn even more about my family's history and to better understand the social dynamics that influenced and/or forced the decisions my ancestors made to survive, thrive and protect their families living in a caste system of white and "light" privilege. It helped me recognize how learned and institutionalized racial prejudice has been so devastating to every aspect of our social fabric, moral ethic and sense of humanity (past and present). By endorsing notions of superiority solely because of white skin, while demonizing any lineage that is of "non-white" origin, we breed contempt across cultures and more importantly within our own, with feelings of self-loathing instead of embracing our own individual beauty and unique diversity.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

struggled to finish

worth it at the end especially to hear authors viewpoint. intriguing and inspirational. have patience for it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Cane River

how important it is to know your family history. great read powerful Women great read

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

I couldn't put it down

I read the hardback a few years ago and thoroughly enjoyed listening to it this time.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Outstanding

This was absolutely outstanding. Such a full story I am so sad it’s over. The story, the characters, the narrative... superbly done. Off now to listen to book two.