Wednesday, April 24, 2013
The Land (review)
The Land (Goodreads | Amazon ) is a young adult classic that sadly I never encountered in my youth. It takes place in a post-Civil War South. Paul Edward is the son of a former slave owner. Unlike most blacks boys, Paul's father acknowledges him, educated him in a time when it was illegal for blacks to have an education and treats him as his own. In some ways that sounds wonderful, but in other ways it makes it more difficult for Paul to live as a black man (even though he can pass for white) in the South because he was not raised as most black boys are raised.
This book has all the themes that classic Southern tales have, racism, hatred, poverty, etc. But it's just as much about family as anything else. For me the family story was heartbreaking, resonating and stayed with me.
A timeless tale, The Land will make your heart hurt and you'll probably shed a few tears. But it's not a downtrodden, sad story, it's a hopeful story where a boy becomes a man and builds a live for himself on his own terms. It's a book about finding your own way in the world, becoming a self-made man, and making something out of nothing. Even though it may taken place in the post-Civil War South, the themes transcend the setting, creating an ageless book.
It's hard for me to seperation the narration from the story. The narration is wonderful and perfect for the story. I can still hear Paul Edwards deep voice in my head and it will always be how I imagine Paul Edward. If you find this audiobook listen to it.