There's a reason why I called my blog "The Book Gatherer". It's because I do exactly that - gather books. I just don't necessarily take the next step of reading them all. The problem is I gather books at a faster rate than I read them - but then I'm wondering if that's actually a problem at all or simply just a healthy addiction?!
Mudbound, by Hillary Jordan was one of the many books I gathered last year, and one of the many books that simply sat on my shelf. The "I'll get around to reading them one day" shelf, gathering dust, and I'm ashamed to admit, partially forgotten as newly gathered books were shelved in front of them.
But thanks to the world of blogging, Mudbound found its way off that shelf and to the very top of my TBR pile. However, it didn't stay there for very long. Instead it came with me on a weekend away and proved to be the perfect companion. I'd curl up on the couch, cup of tea in hand, with Mudbound. I'd go to bed early, snuggle under the covers with just the glow of the bedside lamp, with Mudbound. And as we took to the road, stopping at various vista points or tourist attractions along the way, I'd let the others go ahead for the photo opportunity, while I stayed put in the car with Mudbound.
Mudbound, Jordan's first book, is the story of Laura, a young 'spinster' who marries Henry, a man much older than she who has a love for the land. Moving from the city to the country, Laura faces the challenges of being a wife, young mother and a white woman, on a cotton farm in the Mississippi Delta. Yet throughout each of the challenges she faces, including the relationships with her father-in-law, brother-in-law, and the workers on the land, she maintains her own sense of self worth.
I was swept away with this story, which is narrated by each of the different characters in turn. And, although it flowed at a gentle pace, it had the right balance of events happening to keep you turning over the next page, while at the same time allowing you really understand each of the characters in their own right.
Mudbound won Jordan the Bellwether Prize for Fiction, founded by Barbara Kingsolver who described the book as 'storytelling at the height of its powers'. I'd have to agree!