The novel Mudbound by Hillary Jordan raises a lot of questions, not the least of which is when did women start feeling so comfortable writing about war? Our last book group discussion dealt with a Korean War hero in the midst of a friendly fire massacre, the infamous No Gun Ri massacre. In Lark and Termite the author Jayne Anne Phillips, uses a stream of consciousness to depict the situation confronting Sergeant Robert Leavitt while under fire and protecting the lives of women and children from his own American troops. Mudbound follows the building conflict of two psychologically war damaged veterans of World War II, one a white airman and the other a member of the proud 761st “Black Panther” Tank Battalion. Set in the post war Mississippi Delta, this page-turner moves implacably towards tragedy, exposing racism, bigotry, and adultery. Much like a Greek tragedy, each chapter is told through the voices of the main characters. Unlike a Greek tragedy, redemption and love await at the end. This is the author’s first published novel. You will wonder, as you look at her very young face, from where did this story emanate? Mudbound can sit proudly next to The Color Purple and To Kill a Mockingbird.
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