Monday, February 8, 2016

A Great Historical With an Interesting Point Of View

MY REVIEW

This is the first book I've read by Kathleen Grissom, and I must say I enjoyed it immensely. GLORY OVER EVERYTHING is not a fast read, but instead, a slow-moving, eloquently written historical that focuses on the character Jamie Pyke. The book goes from past to present, moving through the story of how he became James Burton and touches on racism, slavery, but mostly on what it was like to be free, yet still enchained by fear. Fear that escaped slaves had of getting found and sent back to the bonds of slavery. Fear of persecution. And even your own fears of who you are and how the discovery of who you really are could destroy you.

Jamie Pyke is raised by his grandmother and is brought up with an education and the belief that, like her, he is white. After the shocking discovery that he is only half white despite his pale complexion, he is faced with the fact that his father, the white owner/master of the plantation where he lives, plans on selling him as a slave. Defending himself, he kills his father and with the help of his mother, a slave, and others who care for him, he flees.

When he makes it to the Northern free states, he meets Henry, a black boy, also on the run. It is then that Henry helps him get his start, and insists he live as a white man.

Later in the book, Jamie takes on Henry's son as a favor and eventually must face his fears, and his past, when the boy gets stolen for a slave and Jamie must bring him back.

There is so much going on in this book. Jamie falls in love with a white woman, whom becomes pregnant with his child, his true identity gets discovered, he must leave his home, and so much more. Though a slower read (until the end where it's fast-paced), this book was great. I loved Pan, Henry's son, and many of the other characters Kathleen present to us. Though at times I got frustrated with some of Jamie's decisions, it's understandable why he was so scared all the time, always looking over his shoulder and having to pretend to be someone that he wasn't, harboring the secret that he is really biracial in such a volatile time. I was so glad with his decisions at the end, to finally see him come full circle and decide to be so brave.

I would definitely consider reading more books by Kathleen!

4 of 5 stars!

*I was given a this book free in exchange for a fair and honest review.


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