Title: Under the Tulip Tree
Author: Michelle Shocklee
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publishing Date: Sept 8, 2020
Publisher: Tyndale House
Length: 400 Pages
About the Book:
Sixteen-year-old Lorena Leland’s dreams of a rich and fulfilling life as a writer are dashed when the stock market crashes in 1929. Seven years into the Great Depression, Rena’s banker father has retreated into the bottle, her sister is married to a lazy charlatan and gambler, and Rena is an unemployed newspaper reporter. Eager for any writing job, Rena accepts a position interviewing former slaves for the Federal Writers’ Project. There, she meets Frankie Washington, a 101-year-old woman whose honest yet tragic past captivates Rena.
As Frankie recounts her life as a slave, Rena is horrified to learn of all the older woman has endured–especially because Rena’s ancestors owned slaves. While Frankie’s story challenges Rena’s preconceptions about slavery, it also connects the two women whose lives are otherwise separated by age, race, and circumstances. But will this bond of respect, admiration, and friendship be broken by a revelation neither woman sees coming?
WOW. Gotta love a book that leaves you in a speechless book fog. I don’t think I have the words that could do this one justice. It’s one you can’t help but experience and not just read. It tackled a difficult subject matter–a dark part of our country’s history, with honesty and respect. It wasn’t about dwelling on or forgetting the past, but remembering, accepting, and learning from it. I want to be careful not to say too much to prevent spoiling the experience for other readers, but I will say that this is one you won’t want to miss. This would make a great book club read because there’s a lot that can be processed and discussed together once everyone has finished reading. With well developed characters and an emotionally charged storyline, this is a read not easily forgotten. I’m sure this one will be making my favorites list this year and I am looking forward to reading more from this author in the future.
*I received a copy of this book through JustRead Publicity Tours. Thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.