Glorious by Bernice L. McFadden
Publication Date: May 1, 2010
Genre: Historical Fiction
Glorious is set against the backdrops of the Jim Crow South, the Harlem Renaissance, and the civil rights era. Blending the truth of American history with the fruits of Bernice L. McFadden’s rich imagination, this is the story of Easter Venetta Bartlett, a fictional Harlem Renaissance writer whose tumultuous path to success, ruin, and revival offers a candid portrait of the American experience in all its beauty and cruelty.
Glorious is ultimately an audacious exploration into the nature of self-hatred, love, possession, ego, betrayal, and, finally, redemption.
Glorious is a captivating book that drew me in immediately. Right from the beginning, you are hit with a rape, a lynching, and an abortion. These scenes were utterly appalling and left me in a state of disgust and pure sadness. I just wanted to DO something to help these characters; to somehow change their destinies. This book just took hold of me and didn’t let ago until the final word was read.
The story is centered around the life of Easter Venetta Bartlett, a strong young woman who has suffered the loss of her mother and is trying to find out who she is and where she belongs. She ends up in Harlem during the Harlem Renaissance where her writing ability is discovered. The reader is taken on a journey of Easter’s life, from these early days in Harlem filled with happiness and ending in betrayal, through to her returning to her hometown and finding her redemption in the 1960s. This book is sad and will make you angry and appalled and disgusted. It will make you think and that’s what I loved about it.
This book moves very quickly and it would be easy to finish in a day or less. I loved the character of Easter Bartlett and I found myself wanting more of her story. The book covers a very large timeframe in 235 pages (early 1900s through the 1960s) and I was left feeling that the book was just not long enough and that parts of it could have been fleshed out a bit more. I wanted to learn more about Easter’s relationships with the various characters she comes into contact with. There were certain situations and events that were introduced, but were not expanded upon and I was BEGGING to know more. I really wanted to dig into the story even further than what was presented.
Overall, this a wonderful book that will take you on an emotional journey. I’m definitely looking forward to reading more from this author.
**I received this book from the author for review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book.