Happy Monday! Today I have a review of The Forgiving Kind by Donna Everhart, available tomorrow from Kensington Books!
Donna Everhart, author and North Carolina native, is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. Her stories are filled with unforgettably endearing characters and a sharp honesty about the times in which these characters are living.
The book is set in 1950s North Carolina, which, by the way, my dad grew up in NC during this time, though not on a cotton farm, and not in Jones County, where the only way of life was farming.
The Forgiving Kind is the story of twelve-year-old Martha “Sonny” Creech and her family, and what happens when her beloved father who runs the farm passes away. My heart stopped for this family, and I wondered about situations like this in those days. How would they make do, how would they live? Family could possibly help, but all this family has is eccentric Aunt Ruth.
Enter Mr. Fowler. Sonny gets an evil read off of him from the start. He is a bigot in every sense of the word, and Sonny’s mother makes the only choice she feels she has and marries Mr. Fowler to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads. But Mr. Fowler’s malevolence bleeds into every aspect of their lives.
Sonny comes of age in this story, but The Forgiving Kind is about so much more. In North Carolina in the 1950s, it was difficult to be a woman, and it was even more challenging to be “different.” In this lovingly and sensitively told story, you’ll meet Daniel, Sonny’s best friend, who is a victim of Fowler at every turn. Sonny’s loyalty to Daniel deftly illustrates the most beautiful aspects of childhood friendship.
Donna Everhart has outdone herself with her most recent effort. The Forgiving Kind is important and emotional, and I was left feeling that even though we think we’ve come a long way since the 1950s, we still have a long way to go.
Thanks to Kensington Books for the complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.
In this masterful new novel, set in 1950s North Carolina, the acclaimed author of The Road to Bittersweet and The Education of Dixie Dupree brings to life an unforgettable young heroine and a moving story of family love tested to its limits.
For twelve-year-old Martha “Sonny” Creech, there is no place more beautiful than her family’s cotton farm. She, her two brothers, and her parents work hard on their land—hoeing, planting, picking—but only Sonny loves the rich, dark earth the way her father does. When a tragic accident claims his life, her stricken family struggles to fend off ruin—until their rich, reclusive neighbor offers to help finance that year’s cotton crop.
Sonny is dismayed when her mama accepts Frank Fowler’s offer; even more so when Sonny’s best friend, Daniel, points out that the man has ulterior motives. Sonny has a talent for divining water—an ability she shared with her father and earns her the hated nickname “water witch” in school. But uncanny as that skill may be, it won’t be enough to offset Mr. Fowler’s disturbing influence in her world. Even her bond with Daniel begins to collapse under the weight of Mr. Fowler’s bigoted taunts. Though she tries to bury her misgivings for the sake of her mama’s happiness, Sonny doesn’t need a willow branch to divine that a reckoning is coming, bringing with it heartache, violence—and perhaps, a fitting and surprising measure of justice.
Have you read The Forgiving Kind, or is it on your TBR? Happy Reading! ~ Jennifer THR