A New York Times BestsellerAn Indie Next PickA National Book Award-winning AuthorA Finalist for the National Book Award for FictionA Finalist for the Kirkus PrizeA Finalist for the Andrew Carnegie MedalA Publishers Weekly Top 10 of 2017Jesmyn Ward brings the archetypal road novel into rural 21st-century America. Rich with Ward's distinctive, lyrical language, this epic tale of hope and struggle journeys through Mississippi's past and present, examining the ugly truths at the heart of the American story and the power -- and limitations -- of family bonds.
"Jojo, 13, and his 3-year-old sister, Kayla, live with their grandparents, Mam and Pop, while their mother, Leonie, struggles with drug addiction and her failures as a daughter, mother, and inheritor of a gift (or curse) that connects her to spirits. Leonie insists that Jojo and Kayla accompany her on a two-day journey to the infamous Parchman prison to retrieve their white father. Their harrowing experiences are bound up in unresolved and reverberating racial and family tensions and entanglements: long-buried memories of Pop's time in Parchman, the imminent death of Mam from cancer, and the slow dawning of the children's own spiritual gifts. Ward alternates perspectives to tell the story of a family in rural Mississippi struggling mightily to hold themselves together as they are assailed by ghosts reflecting all the ways humans create cruelty and suffering. In her first novel since the National Book Award-winning Salvage the Bones (2011), Ward renders richly drawn characters, a strong sense of place, and a distinctive style that is at once down-to-earth and magical.--Bush, Vanessa Copyright 2017 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"A trio of performers demonstrate their considerable vocal talents in the audio edition of the latest from National Book Award-winner Ward (for Salvage the Bones). The novel's multithreaded structure may take a bit of time for listeners to grasp, particularly given that one of the three narrators is the ghost of Richie, a teen prisoner who was murdered many decades earlier. The other two protagonists-a 13-year-old boy named Jojo and his drug-addicted mother, Leonie-interact with both the living and the dead in their daily lives in a narrative that links past racial violence with a current family crisis. The elements eventually meld together seamlessly. Jojo's lingering sense of innocence and earnestness on the cusp of manhood shines through in the gentle cadence of Harrison's voice. Actor Wesley brings both edge and vulnerability to her smoky-voiced portrayal of Leonie. The listening experience requires attention to detail, but the solid performances are a great match for the material. A Scribner hardcover. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
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