Thank you to the publishers, author and NetGalley for the free copy of this audio book.
Some much heartful emotion in this one, I was so sucked in. What a worthwhile book to read, and I think anyone learning about the Civil Rights Movement would benefit from reading it. The narrator was perfect as well.
This book was passionately written with deeply developed characters. Listening to the audio made for an even better reading experience.
Homeward follows Rose Perkins in the early 60s as she navigates marriage, loss, infidelity, and the Civil Rights movement. I enjoyed the slow build of the story and how character focused it was and the focus on the reluctance of some communities to embrace the Civil Rights movement. Jackson-Brown does a really good job making you feel all of Rose's emotions and struggles and I felt very immersed in her story. My only complaint is that the book ended rather abruptly and I honestly would have loved more.
The challenge for some people is going to be that this character work takes up about half of the book before we really get into the Civil Rights part of the story. I think the other challenge for some people will be that Homeward really focuses on the personal/familial impact of the Civil Rights movement and what the cost of getting involved was. I thought this was a great choice and done very well, but do not go in expecting an action-filled story of the Movement.
Jackson-Brown's writing was evocative and beautifully crafted. I'm definitely excited to try more of her work in future!
Thanks to Harper Collins Focus, Harper Muse, Harper Audio, and Netgalley for an audioARC of Homeward.
In a world where history is challenged and difficult events are avoided, it was nice to listen to a book that faced history and difficult truths head on. Unfortunately, I was taught a palatable version of racism, but luckily this bookI revealed the brutality about life of being Black in the 60s. After listening to this ARC from NetGalley , I felt compelled to research and educate myself.
This book is a must read for anyone who wants to learn about authentic life of Blacks in America.
Loved this book!!! I was immediately pulled in after our MC stated, “I was pregnant with a baby that didn’t belong to my husband, Jasper.” I was like so that’s how we about to pop this off? That alone had me anxious to see what direction the book was headed. With an opening chapter like that I knew I was in store for something good.
After finding out she was pregnant Rose ran home to her parents. Jasper was even willing to care for the child as his own after knowing the truth. Soon Rose realized no matter where you go your problems will always follow. Everything that happened after she returned to Georgia sent her through a downward spiral of unfortunate events. But in the end Rose found herself, made history, and gave love another chance.
It was set during the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement so there’s a lot of history involved that added depth to the novel. The pacing was rather up and down but I loved all the characters especially Rose’s mother so it made up for it. She comforted Rose during her healing process but as a mother she still let her know that what got her in this situation was her fault. “If you old enough to make grown-up decisions, you old enough to deal with the aftermath.”
Overall, the writing was excellent and really kept me engaged. If you’re a fan of historical fiction this is definitely worth adding to your TBR. Special thanks to the author & @harpermusebooks for my gifted copy!!!
Homeward is the story of love, loss, and healing. It follows Rose’s path of growth and self-discovery after heartbreak. She moves to Georgia in the 60s after a failed marriage and loss of her baby and becomes involved in the Civil Rights Movement. She finds purpose by fighting racism and segregation, finally growing a woman she can be proud of.
Homeward is a moving and impactful story about Rose Perkins Bourden, a young woman trying to find herself while living through personal, familial, and societal tragedies during the Civil Rights Era. I expected the story to be more about the civil rights aspect but it ended up being more about the main character's journey toward understanding what kind of a person she wants to be as a wife, mother, sister, daughter, and woman. Rose’s family members were the heart and soul of this story and while I became extremely invested in the story, I almost wished that we could have heard some alternative perspectives on the events. Rose’s parents, siblings, and love interests tended to outshine her. I found myself immersed in the story and would recommend to others interested in what this era in U.S. history looked like for black families.
Thank you to the publisher, author, and NetGalley for this ALC!
What a wonderful book! I knew something about the historical period this book is set in before I started reading it, but this has made things much clearer. I liked the prose and the main characters were complex and interesting. I loved the connections between the fictional aspect of the novel and the reality of the historical time it was set in. I would recommend it!
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, 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. Feeling emotions for the first time since her husband’s passing, Rose becomes increasingly involved in the resistance efforts. Rose embarks on a 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.
Thank you to @netgalley for the ARC! The audiobook performance of this book was great. The speaking was a little slow but I listened in 2.5x speed and it was perfect. The story itself was both heartbreaking and hopeful, and provided a lot of educational anecdotes about what Black people experienced living in the south during the Civil Rights Movement. The first 30% or so of the book was a bit slow for me and pretty much just involved laying the background and introducing all of the characters. I struggled a lot with Ruth’s character during this portion as she didn’t come across as very likable. The second half of the book was much more enjoyable to me as it delved into Rose and her community’s participation in the Civil Rights Movement and the hardships they suffered trying to bring equality to their small town. I really enjoyed this part of the book, so I think I would have rated this higher if the Civil Rights Movement was incorporated more into the first part of the book and if less time was spent with Rose dwelling on the consequences of her own actions and feeling sorry for herself. I really enjoyed all of Rose’s family members and thought they were very well developed, despite not being the main focus. Overall this was an enjoyable and educational book! 3.5 stars rounded up
When I first started listening to this book, I wasn't sure where it was going. I was thrown off by our MC who is pregnant from an affair and has a husband who lied to her about his wealth. It sort of just starts abruptly, so I kind of felt like I had missed something in the beginning portion of the book. However, once this book gets past the 1/3 marker, it really gets going. I felt this was a strong portrayal of not only well-known civil rights activists, but also lesser known activists as well. I thought it also did an excellent job of conveying the many different perspectives of the fight for civil rights within the Black community. I appreciated that some of the characters were scared or took time to come around to the fight. Not everyone was instantaneously marching off to battle as is so often portrayed in books. And I also thought the author did a good job of highlighting the risks and consequences that civil rights advocates faced...not just arrest, but torture, bombing, killing of family, etc. Overall, a slow starter, but a well done book. The narration of the audiobook was also really well done.
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.
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 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.
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.
Completely my fault for not reading the blurb well enough. I was hoping this book had more about the civil rights movement from the POV of an ordinary young black woman in the South. For me there was far too much of the personal stuff and Rose seemed far too fixated on men until a good two thirds of the way through the book, which is when the civil rights part came to life.
The basic storyline is that Rose has rather hastily married her sweetheart and gone to live with him and his mother. However her husband, Jasper, hasn't exactly been honest about his life which is considerably poorer than Rose had been expecting. Jasper then goes into the army and while away Rose becomes enamoured of the lodger, eventually getting pregnant. Ashamed of her behaviour she leaves Jasper to return home to Parsons.
After tragedy strikes Rose becomes involved (through her sister Elena) with SNECC (Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee). Although the dangers are very real Rose takes the message home to Parsons where her family suffer greatly from their resistance efforts. She also gers close to a young, black, Jewish man who helps her see how her fighting back is necessary even if it is dangerous.
As I said, I thought there would be much more about civil rights. That part of the story doesn't get going until around two thirds through and up to that point it's mainly love story and the aftermath of loss.
The narrator, Joniece Abbott-Pratt, does get a little melodramatic at times and it's not easy to make out the dialogue but apart from that she has a good clear voice that's very pleasant to listen to.
Thanks to Netgalley for the advance review copy.
This was a good story that didn’t go exactly like I was thinking it would. I was immediately pulled in with the writing and the plot and was shocked when one of the characters died in this story but loved the renewal and happy ending.
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.
Homeward is an illuminating view into the life of a woman who becomes involved in the Civil Rights Movement. We follow Rose through significant personal losses, the racial targeting she and her family experience, and her journey towards finding the courage to fight for equality.
Rose is a very sympathetic character, and following her journey really helps to personalize the Civil Rights Movement. This story highlights both the progress we’ve made in the intervening decades, and at the same time just how much further we have yet to go.
Thank you Angela Jackson-Brown, HarperCollins Focus, Harper Muse, and NetGalley and publisher for providing this ALC for review consideration. All opinions expressed are my own.
Homeward is a beautifully written and narrated, deeply moving story which gives a glimpse in time to the Civil Rights Movement in Georgia in the 1960’s.
Rose Perkins Bourdon is a young African American women navigating life, experiencing love and loss, fear and grief, racism and discrimination.
Homeward is her story and that of her family and how their lives becomes intertwined with the civil rights movement either voluntarily or involuntarily. Each and everyone of them struggling to come to terms with the changing times and their futures.
I wasn’t sure I ever warmed to Rose as a character. In a lot of ways I felt like she was too passive of a character but upon reflection I think her demeanour and other things that bothered me are likely to be a reflection of expectations on and the role of women at these times. I have to try to remember this is historical fiction, times were obviously different then than they are now.
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!