Hillary Joran makes writing a novel seem really easy. Everything is written simply, but beautifully. She shows amazing writing skill by taking a relatively simple story, then structuring it in such a way that makes it into a real page turner.
The story begins in the Deep South of America, just after the end of World War II, with a family struggling to bury their father in thick mud, during a storm. The story then progresses through the eyes of several characters, until we finally find the cause of his death. I loved the way that small hints as to what was to come were dropped into each chapter. Seeing everything from each character’s perspective meant that you develop an empathy for them all, and begin to understand the reasons for their actions.
The book is very well researched, with the segragation and racism of post-slavery America coming across very vividly.
My only critism is that the book was a little short for me. I wish that some of the sections, which were skimmed over, could have been filled in. Adding a bit more meat to the bones of this story would have made it into an iconic book, instead of just a great read.
Despite this tiny flaw, it was very well written, and I’m sure that Hillary Jordan will win many more prizes for her writing in future.