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Publisher's Summary

A new American classic: a dynamic tale of triumph against the odds and the compelling story of one woman's struggle for equality that belongs alongside Jazz by Toni Morrison and The Color Purple by Alice Walker.

Ivoe Williams, the precocious daughter of a Muslim cook and a metalsmith from central-east Texas, first ignites her lifelong obsession with journalism when she steals a newspaper from her mother's white employer. Living in the poor, segregated quarter of Little Tunis, Ivoe immerses herself in printed matter as an escape from her dour surroundings. She earns a scholarship to the prestigious Willetson College in Austin only to return overqualified to the menial labor offered by her hometown's racially biased employers.

Ivoe eventually flees the Jim Crow South with her family and settles in Kansas City, where she and her former teacher and lover, Ona, found the first female-run African-American newspaper, Jam! On the Vine. In the throes of the Red Summer, the 1919 outbreak of lynchings, and race riots across the Midwest, Ivoe risks her freedom and her life to call attention to the atrocities of segregation in the American prison system.

Skillfully interweaving Ivoe's story with the stories of her family members, LaShonda Katrice Barnett's Jam on the Vine is both an epic vision of the hardships and injustices that defined an era and a moving and compelling story of a complicated history we only thought we knew.

©2015 LaShonda Katrice Barnett. Recorded by arrangement with Grove Atlantic, Inc. (P)2015 Audible Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Narrator Phylicia Rashad gives such a vivid portrayal of the characters in this audiobook that you feel you are in the same room with them, only you've turned your head and don't happen to be seeing them. It's as if she's known every one of them personally." (AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Sumptuous Historical Fiction that reads like a Biography

Today I just finished listening to Jam on the Vine by LaShonda Katrice Barnett
It is the story of a young black woman’s coming-of-age in the South and migration to a hopefully better place.
This work has warmth, heartbreak and redemption but mostly it has LOVE,
Love for self, family, a soulmate and community.
The incomparable Phylicia Rashad’s magical narration, had me hanging on every word.
This is why I love audiobooks. Yep, totally give up the credit.

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Phylicia Rashad's performance is incredible

Phylicia Rashad's performance is incredible. She does an amazing job with all the characters. Loved it

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Well worth a listen!

Where does Jam on the Vine rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This was one of the best audiobook performances I've heard. Such a great story and a perfect performance by Phylicia Rashad, truly a great marriage of the two elements needed to make listening not only a good experience but a GREAT one !

Who was your favorite character and why?

I loved "Lemon"; her unapologetic stance on her unpopular religion. Her love for her children and husband and of course her many note-worthy quips and one-liner's. Had I been reading instead of listening, I would have put a high-lighter to good use capturing her snappy and wise come-backs.

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

I listened to a Phylicia Rashad's performance in Terry McMillan's "Who Asked You". She performed so well that it led me to "Jam On The Vine" and I'm so glad it did. I actually searched her performances (not this author) and found this treasure.

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

This story made me laugh and cry.

Any additional comments?

I normally listen to audio-books at work and in the car on my drive to and from work. This story was so captivating that I found myself listening while at home as well.

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Beautiful!

Treat yourself to an amazing experience. This novel and its reading is beautiful. Race women and men, carry on, carry on!

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  • dw
  • 04-14-15

Slow start!

I give it overall 4 stars because of the message that Lashonda Barnett was trying give. Just very hard to stay focused on the story.