About This Blog

This blog was started as a place to post book reviews. The books reviewed here will be mixed. Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, General Fiction, NonFiction and more. Both positve and negative reviews will be posted, as well as reviews for books written for all ages and all reading levels.

Many of the books reviewed here are ones that I have purchased for my own reading pleasure. Some, I receive free in exchange for reviews. Beginning in December, 2009 you will know which are the free ones if you read the final paragraph of my reviews.

Also of note: I choose what I will read, attempting to avoid the books on which I would end up writing a negative review... but I have been known to make mistakes. Thus you see some one and two star reviews here. Since I don't enjoy writing negative reviews, I only write them if the review was promised, or if the book was so exceedingly bad, I just had to say so. Regardless of the percentage of positive to negative reviews on this blog, I give my honest opinion each and every time, and have never received financial compensation for posting my reviews.

Note that, except for fair use portions quoted from some of the books reviewed, all copyright in the content of the reviews belongs to Lady Dragoness.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Suspenseful and Surprising

by Hillary Jordan
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Windmill (January 1, 2008)
Rated 5 stars of 5 possible

Mudbound starts off in an ominous mood, with two brothers burying their father.  The weather in the Mississippi Delta has been rainy for the previous three days, but they have finally gotten the break in the weather they were looking for, so the brothers decide it's best if they complete the necessary digging as quickly as possible...  In a shifting, kaleidoscopic viewpoint, the story is told piece by piece, while suspense builds. Laura McAllan's voice holds the package together - she both begins at the true beginning and fills in some of the details left out of the other characters' chapters. We soon discover that the old man is both abusive and racist, and that even his own family despises him.

Being a resident of the real Mississippi Delta, I feel obligated to point out that the author has taken some liberty with her geography.  In reality, there is a Marietta, Mississippi - near which the story says the farm, Mudbound, is located - but Marietta is not as close to Greenville as Ms Jordan would have you believe.  I will forgive her that discrepancy for giving us this wonderful novel... a little slight of hand with the location of the towns mentioned doesn't harm the story...

Mudbound has the flavor of a historical novel blended with mystery and suspense all in the same tightly written package. The characters are fully fleshed and of both types, those you love and those you love to hate.  Long before the story ends, you'll figure out what's inevitably going to happen... yet there's still a compulsion to continue reading. A surprise is buried in the twisted ending which will leave you feeling both shocked and devastated, yet that ending is wholly appropriate to this compelling tale.

This isn't a YA book by any stretch of the imagination and is also not recommended for those sensitive to violence. Yet with that caviat in mind, I do recommend this book to the majority of readers looking for something that doesn't fit into the "light and fluffy" category

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