From Bernice McFadden's website:
Glorious is set against the backdrops of the Jim Crow South, the Harlem Renaissance, and the civil rights era. Blending the truth of American history with the fruits of Bernice L. McFadden’s rich imagination, this is the story of Easter Venetta Bartlett, a fictional Harlem Renaissance writer whose tumultuous path to success, ruin, and revival offers a candid portrait of the American experience in all its beauty and cruelty.Glorious is ultimately an audacious exploration into the nature of self-hatred, love, possession, ego, betrayal, and, finally, redemption.
I found myself contemplating Easter's life for hours after finishing this book. I admired her strength and her determination not to give up on life and to try to forgive the evil ways of others, whom she trusted and loved, that would directly influence the route her life would eventually take. I also found myself becoming angry and feeling very ignorant of American history. In the beginning of the novel, the reader is confronted with a lynching that will turn your stomach. It is so gruesome and revolting that you may find yourself unable to continue on with the story. The images of those words were visible in my mind, and I felt the sheer terror of Mary Turner, the young woman who was lynched.. I couldn't believe that a human would perpetrate such a heinous act on another human. I confirmed with Bernice that this lynching DID occur and this part in her novel is historically accurate. Which brings me to what this book is about....this is a story of America and a time period and people, that is never really given much attention. The Harlem Renaissance??? What was that??? I learned about it on my own by reading! I've heard of Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston, but I never really delved into that period of history. McFadden's book takes you there, to New York, to the backroom parlors of rich white people who liked the "idea" of being a benefactor to an aspiring black author. This story is rich in history, rich in characters, and absolutely stunning. Easter became a woman that I cherished and she has rooted herself in my heart. I will hold her there because she touched me on a personal level with her story.
I honestly don't think that I can do justice to this book with my words. I'm an emotional reader and that is how I connect with books. I don't delve into the hidden meanings or the layers within the story. I react to the human responses and gauge books by what type of connection it made with me. In the end, I was emotionally vested in Easter's life and will keep her story alive in my mind for some time to come.
I would absolutely recommend this book as a book club pick. There is much to discuss and O Magazine choose Glorious as a Book to Watch for in May. Please click here to read O Magazine's review and also for a Reading Guide.
I would like to thank Bernice for sending me a review copy of Glorious. My thoughts on this book were in no way influenced by the author. They are my personal reflections based solely on MY experience while reading this novel. For more about Bernice L. McFadden and her books please take a moment and visit her website.
Bernice has also graciously offered 2 autographed copies of Glorious.
If you would like the opportunity to read this book please leave your email address in the comments.
Open to U.S. residents only..open until July 1st and then 2 winners will announced.
Thank you as always for taking the time to visit and to read and comment on my thoughts!