This is certainly one of those books that takes you to a different time in US history and makes you see the way life was for people back then. Especially blacks. It’s refreshing for me to see a story that reminds me of the time of my grandfather. He used to tell stories in much of the same way, which made me reflect on the similarities in the end.
Though I wasn’t entirely positive on what to expect, this isn’t a sweet romance. It’s not going to give you warm fuzzies and though it ends on a sigh worthy note, it doesn’t have a very happy ending.
What it does have is two children who grew up and old together, bonded by an equal share of love and a lot of references to Poe. It has vivid and colorful language that paints pictures as you read. It has powerful characters that draw you in and hold your hand as they lead you through the story. There are points that make you sigh and points that make you gasp. And just when you thought all the effort of these two characters was finally going to have a reward, the story ends, beautiful and sad.
I’m positive this is going to be a story that will stick with me for some time as I have never felt the injustice and the longing of a character as much as I had for Hadley Crump. I never became so invested into a character’s story and emotion as I had. Of course, it’s easy to do. Hadley was a very likable character, and you couldn’t find fault in his reasons for any of his actions.
Despite being a half-black/half-white boy growing up in the south during the 1920’s, Hadley was a hard working gentleman who, despite his efforts, lived his life doing things as right as he possibly could. One of the things he saw was right for him was Lucinda. From the moment he first laid eyes on her, there was something between them that couldn’t be explained by mere words. And it’s with that, the reading lessons started, and their rocky and somewhat questionable relationship began.
I truly love what this story has done to me and how much I wanted the characters to be able to give freely and openly. I nearly cried at the end. This is such a beautifully written story. I have a hard time not recommending it to anyone who loves to read, regardless of favorite genre.
This review will also appear on Goodreads and Amazon.