A New York Times bestseller and Oprah’s Book Club Pick-the unique and deeply moving saga of four generations of African-American women whose journey. Cane River is a family saga by Lalita Tademy. It was chosen as an Oprah’s Book Club selection. In a blend of fact and fiction, Tademy tells the story of four. Summary and reviews of Cane River by Lalita Tademy, plus links to a book excerpt from Cane River and author biography of Lalita Tademy.
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Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Cane River by Lalita Tademy. A New York Times bestseller and Eiver Book Club Pick-the unique and rivfr moving saga of four generations of African-American women whose journey from slavery to freedom begins on a Creole plantation in Louisiana.
Beginning with her great-great-great-great grandmother, a slave owned by a Creole family, Lalita Tademy chronicles four generations of strong, determined black A New York Times bestseller and Oprah’s Book Club Pick-the unique and deeply moving saga of four generations of African-American women whose journey from slavery to freedom begins on a Creole plantation in Louisiana.
Beginning with her great-great-great-great grandmother, a slave owned by a Creole family, Lalita Tademy chronicles four generations of strong, determined black women as they battle injustice to unite their family and forge success on their own terms. They are women whose lives begin in slavery, who weather the Civil War, and who grapple with contradictions of emancipation, Jim Crow, and the pre-Civil Rights South. As she peels back layers of racial and cultural attitudes, Tademy paints a remarkable picture of rural Louisiana and the resilient spirit of one unforgettable family.
There is Elisabeth, who bears both a proud legacy and the yoke of bondage Suzette’s strong-willed daughter Philomene, who rademy a determination born of tragedy to reunite her family and gain unheard-of economic independence Meticulously researched and beautifully written, Cane River presents a slice of American history never before seen in such piercing and personal detail.
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Doesn’t this book feature ‘the brutal rape of a child’? Tadem Northrup So far, this book features that normal abuses of slaveholding men to slave women. The ones that were known to happen but discretely “ignored” in the …more So far, this book features that normal abuses of slaveholding men to slave women.
The giver that were known to happen but discretely “ignored” in the antebellum period. There can be too many nice manners! The story certainly tells about the white slave owners treatment and rivet of the female slaves. I did not read anything about a brutal rape of a …more No.
I did not read anything about a brutal rape of a child. See 2 questions about Cane River…. Lists with This Book. Jan 23, Jaline rated it it was amazing Shelves: One of the strongest parts of this book that stood out for me was the depth and breadth of the characters, particularly the women.
The personalities and portrayals of all the people throughout this novel are so real that it felt like I personally knew each one of them. I could picture each one like a finely detailed pen and ink portrait One of the strongest parts of this book that stood out for me was the depth and breadth of the characters, particularly the women. I could picture each one like a finely detailed pen and ink portrait that is then filled in with watercolour shadings applied with a thin brush.
I was also deeply impressed by the honesty of these depictions. There is no candy-coating of flaws or quirks of personality — these are all layered generously on the portraits. Underlying the surface and the day-to-day interactions, are the qualities that are passed down through each generation like a family legacy: Yes, the earlier generations were slaves and forced into humility when serving their masters, yet they did so with dignity.
Some people in this family were bought and sold, females were subjected to being used sexually by their masters, yet dignity remained. They were loved, cared for, and taught to uphold the family values. There were also separations and illnesses and conflicts and deaths. Through these six generations, there were wars and there were gains and losses.
There were times of freedom, yet in the Louisiana of the day, that freedom came at great cost, too, and that freedom only went so far.
This family saga, based on hundreds of documents and years of research, carried me on a journey to a place and a time that feels so much more familiar to me than it ever did before. Through the stories of this family, I was able to live a part of history and come away inspired by the courage and determination they utilized to move them through some of the hardest years of those times past.
I am grateful, and I recommend this book to everyone who enjoys reading historical family sagas. View all 73 comments. Sep 03, Julie H. I should divulge that I formerly lived along Cane River the in-town part and was given a free copy by our local National Park unit at a public symposium.
I started the book that night at bedtime, thinking I’d read for an hour or so, per usual. Well I was up until well after 4: When I showed up slightly bleary-eyed for class the next day, one of our observant grad students thanks, Melissa!
So true–you just couldn’t put it down. For anyone not from the region as with Mom and mother-in-law who both received and loved their copiesit’s a great introduction to a region and to the complexities of Louisiana’s creole communities.
And the fact that the author wrote the book as something of a voyage of discovery of her own family roots, just makes it that much more bittersweet after you become so invested in characters from whom she is actually descended.
This is a beautiful book about a beautiful and complicated place. View all 4 comments. May 29, Sammy rated it it was amazing Shelves: What a gorgeous novel. The key thing is, is that this novel was based on Lalita Tademy’s own family history. She calls it fiction, though, because she had to elaborate and add rich detail to the simple stories she had been told of her grandmothers before her.
What shocked me most about this novel was that it was Tademy’s first. Her writing seems to reflect years and years of writing before her, it flows so well and the language is so rich. You can’t criticize her characters, because they are real What a gorgeous novel. You can’t criticize her characters, because they are real, even so she added layers on to them that just increased their likeability. It was funny, because I didn’t think I was going to like the fact that the book followed every generation closely.
I thought I would bond with Suzette and feel slight resentment when her daughter and granddaughters story came up, but I didn’t. Somehow I loved it. I loved it because the mothers and grandmothers weren’t shoved to the side when the story switched focus, which is further reflection on how Tademy’s family thinks of their elders, especially their grandmother’s.
This book is a surprisingly enjoyable novel, and I’d say if the story doesn’t sound like something you would want to read, give it a try anyway.
Cane River (novel) – Wikipedia
I really don’t need to say too much about this novel because it doesn’t need much. Everything about it is great, and really, that’s all I need to say. If you are looking for tadmey fiction that focuses on the lives and struggles of African American women, I highly recommend picking up Cane River. Lalita Tademy has turned her family story llita a fictionalized account of three generations of women who have each faced physical and emotional trauma with strength, dedication to family, and a burning need to move their families forward.
When faced with no choice but to physically submit themselves to the men who hold the power of life and death If you are looking for historical fiction that focuses on the lives and struggles of African American women, I highly recommend picking up Cane River. When faced with no choice fane to physically submit themselves to the men who hold the power of life and death over them, each woman ultimately does what she feels is best for the resulting children.
The means by which the family is moved forward is by bleaching the line through the generations. This process tacemy truly by choice, but these strong women use whatever advantages that they can grasp for their children.
Suzette and Philomene never lalota have a choice in who the father of their children will be, but their perseverance, resourcefulness, and pure grit llita impressive. Having modern sensibilities, it is upsetting to know that the skin color helped to define the hopes of a mother for her children. Yet, women with no power over their own bodies and futures had to maneuver and manipulate advancement as best they could.
It was Emily’s story, the last generation delved into in Cane River, that was the most heartbreaking for me. Emily had a taste of love, even though it was a tarnished one. Emily’s desire to just be without being harassed for simply existing, and being audacious enough to attract and acquire love from a white man, was what made her an even larger target for savage mistreatment. Tademy actually had me feeling sorry for a man who couldn’t defend a family that he knew would never be accepted.
Even though I felt compassion for Joseph, his arrogance and sense of entitlement is what led to his downfall and eventually cost him everything. Both Emily and Joseph were naive in their belief that they could be left alone to live as they wished, but especially Joseph.
As a white male living in their community after the Civil War, he should have know that he could not be a successful businessman and expect others not to balk at the idea of him having a woman with even a trace of black blood. The ending of the book had me cand knowing that after all that Emily had endured and survived, society still made sure that she knew her place.
However, toward the end there is a bit of joy given to me via the choice of Emily’s son T. It was a step that not only set him apart as a man who thinks for himself, but also a step to can the cycle that T. There is so much to experience in Cane River! I generally haven’t had the best of luck with Oprah Book Club picks, however Cane River was a home run for me and is going on my favorite reads list.
I am so glad that I grabbed this one when I saw it in my local Goodwill for only a dollar. Spending a dollar and discovering a new favorite read is about as good as it gets! Reading this one makes me wish that I belonged to an organized book club so that I could discuss all of the issues and feelings that Tademy tadeym. This was a hard review to rein in. It would be so easy to write a review on each woman featured!
Cane River is a very well paced read that will hit you in all of the feels and provides food for thought long after you close the cover.