Yellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I am finally getting around to posting the review for our November book Yellow Crocus; which was held a few (or more) days ago.
As a collaborated discussion we decided to give this book 4 out of 5 Stars. It was heartfelt, emotional, engaging and a thought-provoking story.
In a nutshell – Yellow Crocus was a story about a girl growing up with her enslaved nursemaid on a 19th Century plantation in Virginia. Mattie (the nursemaid) was taken from her home and her 3 month old son to take care of the newly born daughter of her master -Lisbeth. From that day forward Mattie teaches Lisbeth about her life and culture. From learning to pray to finding the infamous Yellow Crocus come spring time.
The story continues with a series of events that help Lisbeth find herself. Learning to let go of her nursemaid, finding her place in her family. Lisbeth played a huge influencing role in Samuel’s life both while he was on the plantation and life later on – I will admit there were times Lisbeth was so naïve, I almost thought the author was doing it on purpose to shield us (the readers) from some of the factual gruesome things that happened during that period. A few of the readers mentioned that this book was sad, however it was clean compared to what actually happened during those times.
This story was filled with angst, from her son disappearing, to her being questioned, to her attempt to flee – When Mattie did make the brave attempt to escape – there were moments where we all had to hold our breath!
Reading stories from this era is either disheartening or refreshing to me. This story took place just as the Abolition Movement was taking place – which makes sense since they were attempting to flee to the North.
All in all a great Book Club read, here are some quotes I highlighted:
.“I do not care if it is the fashion. It is unseemly for a woman of your stature to feed a child. Your heartbreak would only be greater should they die. I know from experience, it is best not to love your children too deeply, as it only causes pain.” ..
”…slaves are only three-fifths of a man. They are not entitled to the same rights as Christians.”
“Never touch a White girl! Never! Do you hear me?” Spit flew from her mouth as she yelled at him. “You gonna get yourself killed!”
“Well, I cannot be of any help to her. Here, you give her what she needs,” Ann directed as she handed her daughter over to Mattie.
“I shall ask Mother to give you to me when I am grown, and then you will be with me forever,”
”Then Mattie journeyed away from her home toward freedom and her family, leaving behind the bones of generations of her ancestors and their captors.”
”My brothers often tease one another about whose seed made the harvest.”
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