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Publisher's Summary

For the newly freed black residents of Colfax, Louisiana, the beginning of Reconstruction promised the right to vote, to own property, and, at the very least, control over their own lives. However, in the space of a day, angry whites took back Colfax in one of the most brutal incidents of racial violence in Southern history. Now, in the bitter aftermath, the Tademys and the Smiths will have to deal with the wreckage, push on, and build a better life for their sons and daughters over the next 70 years.

Hailed as "remarkable" (Philadelphia Inquirer), "astonishing" (Essence), and "spellbinding" (Detroit Free Press), Lalita Tademy's first novel, Cane River, was a New York Times best seller and the 2001 Oprah Book Club Summer Selection. Now, once again, Tademy weaves together history and the story of her own family to bring us an epic work of fiction - the dramatic, intertwining tale of two families struggling to make peace for themselves in an America deeply divided after the Civil War.

©2007 Lalita Tademy (P)2007 Books on Tape

Critic Reviews

"Through her characters, the author paints an indelible portrait of rural life under Jim Crow, built around backbreaking farm labor, blood ties that bind and chafe, and the omnipresent fear of a capricious white racism that can undo in a moment the work of a lifetime. Combining family anecdotes with historical research and a rich imagination, Tademy crafts another American epic." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    56
  • 4 Stars
    43
  • 3 Stars
    13
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    11

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    44
  • 4 Stars
    20
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    3

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    38
  • 4 Stars
    23
  • 3 Stars
    10
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    3
Sort by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Stilted, painful for the listener

What was most disappointing about Lalita Tademy’s story?

Stilted narrative, most of which was done in third person. The narrator did a fine job, but can't overcome the book's glacial pace. Charitably gave it two points for the subject matter. I liked Cane River, but not this one. I wish I could get my credit back.

What does Bahni Turpin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I liked her, but she couldn't save this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Awesome story but...

THIS BOOK TELLS THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AUTHORS FAMILY ON HER DADS SIDE. IT WAS VERY HARD TO LISTEN TO THE RIOT CHAPTERS. IT SADDENED ME AND I MUST ADMIT THE STORY THAT LEAD UP TO IT LOST MY INTEREST. BUT I MANAGED TO FINALLY FINISH THIS BOOK. IT REALLY IS A GOOD STORY. JUST DONT LET THE BEGINNING THROW U OFF. READ ALSO CAIN RIVER IT WAS MUCH MUCH BETTER LOL

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

A Necessary Book

I would suggest this book to any African American who for whatever reason remains ambivalent about the importance of education and voting. I read Cane River first and they were both eye opening and dramatic reads.

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

Red river

This book was part of an assignment for a college History course and I enjoyed reading it so much, I wanted it as an audible. It made me feel for so many of the characters-agony, sorrow, anger and disgust. And the fact that these aren't just made up characters but a piece of history-terrifying!

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

Hard To Finish!

What would have made Red River better?

The characters' plots were to hard to follow. I always felt as if all stories were "unfinished" and I could not keep up with who belonged to who.

Has Red River turned you off from other books in this genre?

Yes. I do not want to continue to the next book in the series.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

I could not ever settle into the rhythm of this narrator's voice as I did with Cane River.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent

This story evokes both anger and pride. It weaves reality and fiction perfectly. I highly recommend this book to history buffs.

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

I truly enjoyed

This is the second book from lalita tadamy that I have listened to. I didn't want it to end.

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

though provoking. the performance was great!

it was a very eye opening experience learning about this time period in the south.

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

Amazing

Overall amazing story
Glad to have had the pleasure to listen and follow along the incredible story of the Tademys

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

Uummmm

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

I have no idea. The story line could have been better.

Has Red River turned you off from other books in this genre?

No but Im not really a fan of this one.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful