Authors · Books · Sociology

What I’m reading: On Trembling Ground by AP Newell

I knew when I fell in love with Harley that something bad was going to happen to him. I hated Franklin from beginning to end.

A tough read about small town race relations at the beginning of what would become the Civil Rights Movement, and about intimate family relations, particularly those between siblings.

Character development is very good. Each of the major characters is fleshed out, multidimensional. The voices are clear, deliberate, insightful.

Some old dogs refuse to learn new tricks; that’s Franklin. The hold of tradition on some folks’ minds is frightening. Traditional thinking can lead people to do the most heinous things. Self-righteous traditional thinking seemingly goes on until the thinker dies. It saddens me to think that the only way to progress on some fronts is through the attrition process of death.

All in all, a very good read.

art · Authors · Books · Sociology

What I’m Reading: On Trembling Ground by AP Newell

This book is good. However, it is very difficult to read as I feel like I am living in the time period depicted (early ‘60s, Civil Rights era), being intimidated by the bullies of this era, gang members.

Then, as now, the innocent just had to bear with the injustices heaped upon them by good Christians that the law supported in their wrong doing.

The portrayals of the characters is complex and dense even though the style of writing is very easy, flowing oh so naturally. I can almost understand Franklin, who reluctantly becomes an active Klan member, in part to keep his job and partly because he thought he was doing the right thing for an upright, god-fearing Christian white man of the south.  I like his brother Harley, though, who is a music man trying to stay true to his art through hard times, who recognizes that Elvis stole his music from Black human beings.

I turn to this story for ideas of how to survive the current hostile climate in which I live and am persecuted by people who share a skin color similar to my own. I learned a long time ago, though, that all my skinfolk ain’t my kinfolk.

I like the varied dimensionality of the characters most thus far.

More when I finish . . .