Sometimes belonging to a book group makes you read books you would never have come across on your own. This is one of them.
The story takes place
in the years of the Second World War in the Mississippi Delta. It's
told in multiple voices, which gives us insight into a number of
characters, all of them wrestling with the lot fate has dealt them.
returning soldiers both struggle with what the war has done to
them--one white, one black. The black soldier has actually been treated
better as a soldier in Europe than he will ever be in the South of the
The black soldier's family, sharecroppers, wrestle with
the indignities forced on them in that era (leaving stores by back
doors, taking what's left over of virtually everything).
The wife of the land
owner (and they are not rich either) is college-educated but must live
in a shack when her husband loses their potential house to a sharper
bidder. Their marriage is not an easy one.
All of these
characters have noble moments and lesser ones. This is a sad book
but one that will stay with you. Netflix made a good movie of it too.