I recently received an email through the blog by author Janie Dempsey Watts, simply asking if she could send me a copy of her most recent novel, Return to Taylor’s Crossing; would I read it and blog it?
I always want to make sure it is a book and genre that I would choose to read, so after reading a snippet about the book, I gladly accepted. The story is right up my alley and I couldn’t wait to dig in.
In starting the blog, it has always been my goal to share with you books I have read, give my thoughts and to be honest with you in how the book made me feel. That is still the case even if the author has asked me to read the book and review it. So let’s get to it….
Return to Taylor’s Crossing is set in the late 1950’s, during the Civil Rights Movement. Racial tensions run deep and the Klan is bent on creating a life of fear for the African American communities in the south.
Nineteen year old Abednego Harris lives in a small cabin down by the creek, works on a dairy farm and is well known for his brave work with the bulls. Because of his skin color he doesn’t get the respect he deserves.
Lola James is a beautiful young lady who arrives in town to live with her aunt for the summer and is working for a nearby family. Abednego spots Lola, and is taken aback by her beauty and he is determined to meet her. This is where Lola and Abednego’s love story begins.
The two meet, spend time together and fall in love when tragedy strikes and Abednego and Lola’s lives are torn apart, sending them in two different directions. The story of Lola and Abednego weaves in their friends and family and the struggles they all face because of these two tragedies. One of them will choose to face the past just to get answers and maybe a bit of closure.
Return to Taylor’s Crossing is beautifully written. I was pulled in from the first few pages and stayed there as each page turned. Not able to put it down, yet forcing myself to put it down because I didn’t want it to end, but I wanted to know what happens to Lola and Abednego.
Throughout the book, you feel the tension, life in the south, the tragedies that take place and the fighting human spirit to somehow go on. Reading a book that makes you truly feel and understand the injustice is the sign of a great book.
Having lived in the south for a very, very short time and witnessing the racial tensions and injustices that still existed in the 1980’s, Lola and Abednego’s story breaks my heart, no one should have to live in constant fear, face injustice, hatred and cruelty due to skin color.
I loved the book and hope you all will too. Return to Taylor’s Crossing is one you need to add to your reading list and actually read. I was about halfway through the book when I was notified that the book received a B.R.A.G Medallion award. The award is given by a reader’s group to self published books worth reading.
To Janie Dempsey Watts ~ thank you for writing and sharing Lola and Abednego’s story with all of us.