5
May

Review: The Sweetest Hallelujah

   Posted by: Garrett   in Path

I didn’t really like my bookclub’s last pick, so I was dreading reading this one.

However, I was hooked within the first couple of pages!

This is the story of a little black girl, Billie, whose single mother is dying from cancer (most people would say the story is about the mother, Betty Jewel, but the whole story revolves around Billie, so I see it a little differently). The year is 1955 and the place is the South; so racial tensions are very high.

Billie’s mother places an ad in the paper for someone to take care of Billie, and that is where the fun starts.

We get to know Cassie Malone, a stalwart and rich white widow, who sees the ad and goes to investigate (she is a sometime reporter for a local paper).

The story revolves around Billie, Betty Jewel, Cassie, and a host of friends and family and their love for each other and for Billie.

The writing was wonderfully clear and evocative of southern charm and manners. It was a heart-rending story, and the author did not shy away from the difficulties of that era in the South, which was brilliantly and lovingly handled.

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