by Angela Jackson-Brown
Narrated by Joniece Abbott-Pratt
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Pub Date 10 Oct 2023 | Archive Date 10 Nov 2023
HarperCollins Focus, Harper Muse
The country is changing, and her own world is being turned upside down. Nothing—and no one—will ever be the same.
Georgia, 1962. Rose Perkins Bourdon returns home to Parsons, GA, without her husband and pregnant with another man’s baby. After tragedy strikes her husband in the war overseas, a numb Rose is left with pieces of who she used to be and is forced to figure out what she is going to do with the rest of her life. Her sister introduces her to members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee—young people are taking risks and fighting battles Rose has only seen on television. Feeling emotions for the first time in what feels like forever, the excited and frightened Rose finds herself becoming increasingly involved in the resistance efforts. And of course, there is also the young man, Isaac Weinberg, whose passion for activism stirs something in her she didn’t think she would ever feel again.
Homeward follows Rose’s path toward self-discovery and growth as she becomes involved in the Civil Rights Movement, finally becoming the woman she has always dreamed of being.
|DURATION||11 Hours, 22 Minutes, 24 Seconds|
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 27 members
I just love this kind of story! This is set in the 1960's, where racism and the civil rights movement happened. But let me tell you, the main character, Rose, is written so breathtaking and strong. She just might be my favorite heroine of the year. 5 stars!!
Many thanks to Net Galley and Harper Collins for an audio copy of Homeward for an honest review. This book was breathtaking!
Such a great book! Beautifully written. Impacting. Soul searching. Truth telling. The nineteen sixties in Parsons, Georgia was a hard place to live as a person of color. Come back to it and see Opal and Cedric. Meet their families. They were in the previous book by Angela Jackson Brown. You don’t have to read it to follow this one, but if you haven’t, then you should. Completely absorbing. Loved it!
Many thanks to NetGalley and HarperCollins Focus, Harper Muse for the free audio book in exchange for an honest review. This is narrated by Joniece Abbott-Pratt who does a fantastic job!
This is such a beautifully written, heart wrenching tale of a black family in Georgia during the 1960s. It is well researched and includes family, heartbreak, loss and healing, and life in the south during the civil rights movement. Racism was rampant, blacks and whites were absolutely separate, and both were fighting for and against civil rights. It's about the grass roots efforts of the movement, and the sobering reality of the police protecting "their own color". But it is also so much more than that. It is a story of the love of family, fear, war, death, and grief. Ultimately, it is a story of love, and finding a way to live and love despite the past.
I loved the characters. They are so well written and developed. This is an interesting take on a hard period in history, and its well done!
In short, this is the entire package for historical fiction. Compelling, realistic fictional characters presentation of situations without over dramatizing or glossing delicately over uncomfortable truths., a natural blending of real events with believable but fictional pieces of the novel, well written and easy to read. Great novel to generate discussion.
Thanks NetGalley for an advance copy of the audio book.
I admit, I had fairly low expectations for Homeward. As a person who has spent years studying the Civil Rights movement, and hearing about it from older people- I know how difficult things were for people involved. Many books/accounts do not capture the challenges and nuances of the times well. Much of what I've read that is in a historical fiction genre seemed to sort of gloss over some of the really brutal situations.
So, I have been pleasantly surprised, and I am also waiting for this book to show up immediately on a list of banned books after it comes out on October 10th. So unfortunate, but hopefully it will spur plenty of people to pick it up just to know what's so dangerous inside this book.
The book is well written. We follow the story of an unlikely protagonist- Rose- a young black woman, who married early and had an unfortunate affair while her new husband was serving in Vietnam. As she gains his forgiveness, we get to know her. To be honest, I didn't really like her that much at the start of the book. She isn't interested in politics, she mostly wants to enjoy time with her family and community. She was definitely not interested in causing any trouble, and couldn't figure out why anyone wanted to eat at a Woolworth's counter anyway, as the food wasn't flavorful. As Rose says " Having the right to vote or eat at the Woolworths counter doesn't mean more to me than my family". Rose, like many, reflected that she wasn't particularly interested in socializing with white people, or occupying their spaces. Rose's younger sister, however, was a student in Atlanta, and was becoming deeply involved in the SNCC movement for voter registration and integration. Rose and her sister are close, so Rose herself becomes involved, noting that stuffing a few envelopes surely isn't like attending a protest.
Rose's entire family is home for the summer and they initially watch as the events of the Civil Rights movement unfurl around them. Everyone in her family and the community has an opinion, and the author does a fantastic job of showing the many reactions of people to these events. We are often taught that everyone was just passionate about voting or sitting at the front of a bus, but the reality was that many people recognized the risks involved and saw our now well respected leaders like Dr. King, John Lewis and others of the Big Six as instigators and trouble makers. Jackson-Lewis shows how a person may have been lead to - or forced to take a stand during this time period and the very real situations that led reluctant joiners to become strong leaders.
Excellent read, compelling fictional story that pulls in the events of the time period in a completely natural way, and subtly inspires the reader to find ways to ensure a more equal and just community for today.
When she initially comes home pregnant with a baby that is not her husbands, her mother tells her, This is your bed, Rose. You are going to have to lay in it all by yourself. For Rose, fairness is all she wants. But though she may be delicate, Rose is not fragile. Alone in our fear, we cannot do anything. But with our family and God on our side, we are stronger than an army of ten thousand.
After reconciling with her husband, Rose wrestles with his departure for the Vietnam War, but as long as there were men in power, there would always be a need for soldiers. If women were presidents and leaders, we would never send our sons, husbands, uncles, and brothers off to war…Until we were all free to choose, none of us were free. She discovers that fighting for freedom could be both loud and quiet. We all didn’t have to be on the front lines…Leave us alone and allow us the freedom to live. This becomes her solemn prayer.
When it was all said and done, racism didn’t care what your religion was. When a policeman attacks Rose on her way home from the graveyard, he didn’t care what God she served or if she served any God at all. He looked at her and saw nothing–but especially not a child of God.
Dr. King patterned the Civil Rights Movement after Mohandas K. Gandhi, a Hindu teacher and activist. So many of the SNCC members were Jewish. Rose considers the strange sovereignty of how all these bad things were bringing together, so many people from so many different communities. Maybe peaceful protest was God’s plan after all.
In addition to a gorgeously written story of a tight knit family and their community, Angela Jackson-Brown’s Homeward commemorates the 60th anniversary of so many historical events like the assassination of Medgar Evers; the March on Washington; the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church killing for a little girls (Addie May Collins, Carol Denise McNair, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson); and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. A must read!
If you read one book this year, this should be it. The author’s note at the end is a must listen and true. History should not be erased. We only learn from history and from mistakes. This was a heartfelt story with two storylines. The first one of loss and grief and the second of standing up and fighting for the right for black people to vote and to be treated as equals.
Set in Georgia in the 1960’s Rose returns home to stay with her family after an issue with her husband, Jasper because she finds herself pregnant with another man’s child. Then, when tragedy strikes Jasper while he is away fighting at war, Rose grieves. Her sister convinces her to join the Student Nonviolent Coordination Committee, becoming an activist for battles that she has only seen from afar. I felt for Rose, the MC, and all that she had to overcome in her young life. It has been a pleasure to read this through Netgalley as I don't know if I would have picked it up on my own. Each character represented had depth and was strong in their own way. The character of Isaac, a black Jew whose parents invite students from Spellman College, a historically black school, over for Shabbat dinner, was a fantastic character and so important in this book. I appreciated the Jewish references through this story and the acknowledgement of Jews standing up for Civil Rights. This was a story of heartbreak, faith, family and trying something new.
This had me sobbing. I love it so much. The narration was perfection. I don't think I have had a better experience with an audiobook in years.
It was an emotional and wonderful book.
It was also educational. I love all the family and community in this book.
This story consists of heartbreak, grief, risks, empowerment, forgiveness, spirituality, and love. Angela Jackson-Brown did an incredible job creating these characters and situations they went through during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. Thank you NetGalley, HarperCollins Focus, and of course Angela Jackson-Brown for an opportunity to listen to an ARC of this incredible book in exchange for my honest review.
Homeward by Angela Jackson-Brown, Pub Date 10/10/23
This was purposely chosen by me, so thank you to the publisher (#HarperMuse) and #NetGalley for the chance to read and review.
Considering the times we are living in where politicians are trying to take our country’s history out of schools, this book revolving around the Civil Rights movement was one I knew I had to read. Georgia, 1962 — Rose Perkins, a young, African American married woman returns home pregnant with another man’s child. Her new husband was off serving in the war and came home to declare his shortcomings, wanting to raise this baby as his own. Her life seemed to be on the upswing until multiple tragedies struck, seemingly all at once.
Rose found herself needing purpose to this precious life of hers. Her sister introduces her to the members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee—other young individuals taking risks to fight for what was right. She gets heavily involved and finds a voice she didn’t know she had or deserved. We see her earning her HARD-fought right to vote, we see her fall in love again, we see her witness even more tragedies that young adults shouldn’t be forced to endure. It’s her story and I love how the author seamlessly wove fact and fiction of this time. She captured, perfectly, the still-innocence and empathy of a bright young woman. I truly appreciated this story of love, loss, family, fear and endurance … and the author’s note at the end was the hope needed right now. 4.5 stars, rounded up
This book is FANTASTIC - and it is
destined to become a NY Times Bestseller, or at least it should be! Homeward by Angela Jackson-Brown is about a young black woman's life and family during 1962 in Georgia during the Civil Rights movement. It is historical fiction that puts you right in the middle of Rose's story. It starts with her personal story of being pregnant.
Eventually, the story takes her into the meetings for Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), where college students are organizing sit-ins at segregated lunch counters and buses and training negroes to pass the tests required to become legal voters. Rose isn't sure what to think about these at first, and her parents are divided about resistance versus keeping things calm. I was really moved by some of the situations in this book. I felt the despair, the fear and frustration, the confusion, and the hope.
The family attends a speech by Martin Luther King, Jr.. At the end of the book, the author explains that this wasn't a real speech, but it is based on his speeches. John Lewis was another figure we heard about a lot in here. The history seems well researched.
Joniece Abbott-Pratt did an excellent job narrating this story, getting all the emotion in and keeping all the many character voices distinctive. Her narration really enhanced my enjoyment of this novel.
Thank you to Netgalley and HarperCollins Focus for providing me with the audiobook of this novel in exchange for my honest review.