Title: Being PlumvilleAuthor: Savannah J. FriersonGenre: HistoricalHearts: 5/5 - Reviewer Top PickReviewer: LisaDate: 4/2/2008
This is not an ordinary read – it is an amazing one! Savannah J. Frierson transcends barriers of time, culture, and race to create a love story which could be real. Historically accurate, pertinent, and with painstakingly correct dialogue, this book places you in the South in the 1950's and 1960's. The childhood friendship between Coralee Simmons and Benjamin Drummond has always been special but held within the confines of societal and cultural dictations of the time.
The tension builds slowly, leading to an amazing climax. Frierson fearlessly wrestles not only with blatant racism, but also with issues at the core of humanity; acceptance, change, equality, and growth. She skillfully explores conflicts between a person's being and doing. With expert finesse, she deftly probes painful unconscious influences cast by culture and society and how they dictate roles and behavior, creating a caste system still written about today.
Frierson is an author that I would, without a doubt, read again. I expect great things from her in the future. Romantic yet edgy, not only does she weave a wonderful story, but her characters are human, wrestling with humanity and authenticity in the deepest of ways. This reviewer has three final words – You Go, Girl!
And a very nice note from a reader who got wind of my book from a former nanny of all people, I'm surprised, humbled, and so blessed people are still responding so well to Being Plumville now that it's been out for a full year. Now, if only the agents and publishers could respond equally as well to my writing! God is something, because I'd just gotten another rejection from an agent, and yet I get these two lovely responses back. It's like He's trying to remind me that I'm doing all right and encouraging me to keep doing the do. I'm not gonna not listen, ya heard?! One day . . . one day I'll get that yes I'm waiting on, even if the nos get more and more frustrating to hear. I'll just pull up these reviews and reread the lovely letters readers are writing me. I really do appreciate it. It sound so trite, but it conveys so much of my gratitude, you don't even know. Also, thank you to all of you who came out to chat last Sunday! It was fun! I'll have to do that again soon.And tomorrow is the 40th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination. On the surface it seems like it has nothing to do with the above post, yet I mention it because he was/is the face (outside of my mother, father, grandmother, aunts, uncles cousins) who struggled during the Modern Civil Rights Movement so that I can sit here in my mixed-race apartment and attend my mixed-race middle/high school and college and be employed at my mixed-race office and vote at my mixed-race precinct come November and date/marry whatever race I see fit. And then I think about Being Plumville and the story's setting and the story's, well, story, and it has just about everything to do with it. I tell you when I first started writing it, the year 1968 just popped into my head because it sounded far enough away from the current year (then 2004) but recent enough that it's still tangible in its access. 40 years isn't a long time. I have cousins older than that--a brother older than that! Both my parents, both my uncles and my aunts are older than that. We're all affected by that, and to write about a mixed-race couple who have to deal with all that upheaval and still find their way to each other and have current readers, many of whom weren't alive 40 years ago and many who definitely were; readers of all genders and races; able to relate to that . . . it means a lot. So thank you all. Truly. Truly, truly, truly.