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Little Sacrifices [Kindle Edition]

Jamie Scott , Michele Gorman
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)

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Book Description

For fans of The Secret Life of Bees or To Kill A Mockingbird, this atmospheric, evocative depiction of the American South may be the perfect summer read.

How much would you risk to stand up for your beliefs?

When the Powell family moves to Savannah Georgia in 1947, they hope against hope that they'll be welcomed. But they're Northerners and worse, they're white civil rights advocates almost a decade too early. The American South is deeply segregated.

At first their daughter, May, can pretend they're the same as everyone else. It means keeping quiet when she knows she should speak up, but it's worth the sacrifice to win friends. Keeping secrets has been the norm for her new home's residents for forty years anyway, and the old lady who lived in the house before them left more than her furniture when she died. May finds her diaries and letters, unravelling a tale of love and loss that reaches across the generations with devastating consequences.

Unfortunately May’s parents are soon putting their beliefs into action. When they wake to find that they're the only family on the block with a Ku Klux Klan cross blazing on their front lawn, the time comes for them to finally decide between doing what's easy and doing what's right.

Editorial Reviews


"An interesting and compelling read" - The Kindle Book Review

"This historical fiction read is outstanding. The plot is intriguing, the characters are fantastic, and the writing style is so smooth and easy that it makes getting through this novel a breeze... Absolute 5-star read!!"
- Rolopolo Books

"I felt that this is a story a friend would tell me and many times had to remind myself that it was just a story, an amazing story.  I could picture what Savannah was like, from the sweltering heat to the layouts of the streets."
--A Novel Review

"Little Sacrifices is an original, heartfelt and thought-provoking read. 4 stars." --One More Page

"All in all, a fantastic story with historical elements and wonderful character development that will have you completely immersed in the secrets and plot twists of Little Sacrifices." -Minding Spot

From the Author

It's not every day that one talks to the Ku Klux Klan, but that's exactly what I found myself doing when I wrote Little Sacrifices.

I knew when I thought up the story, a coming-of-age tale about being caught between two sets of beliefs in the 1940s segregated American South, that I wanted it to be historically accurate. I'm a researcher by training, which makes me a stickler for detail. It was also important to be accurate because I was writing about a painful time in US history. The main characters are white civil rights advocates before the civil rights movement really gets going. This makes them unpopular, to say the least, in their new hometown. Even though the story is fictional, I needed to represent events as they'd have happened, without understating or overstating them. So I did a lot of research.

First, I had to have a way to "see" what Savannah was like in the late 1940s. A lovely woman called Jewell Anderson Dalrymple at the Georgia Historical Society worked with me for over a year, patiently answering my (many!) questions and researching every little detail I put into the book. But she didn't have much information about one shameful aspect of the region's history. I needed to know about the Ku Klux Klan, since they played a part in my story. There was only one way to know, and that was to go to the source.

My belly flip-flopped as I dialled the number, which surprisingly I found on one of the KKK websites (yes, they have websites). A polite man answered and I explained who I was and why I was calling. He put me on hold and after a minute or so, another man answered, saying he was their head of communications. I imagined him sitting in his office with a sheet over his head.

He answered my questions without embarrassment. I couldn't say the same about my questioning! But, I kept reminding myself, I needed to get this information, unpalatable as it was. Yes, he admitted, there were lynchings at that time. He said this was mainly because the laws didn't protect blacks, implying that racist attacks happened because they were allowed to rather than because the perpetrators were horrid bigots. There was no remorse in his voice. When I asked whether the Klan was active in Savannah he replied, "No, ma'am, but they were right over in Statesboro and more than happy to travel." That quote will stay with me for the rest of my life.

I felt sick when I got off the phone. I still feel sick when I think about it. That call spurred me on to finish the book, to write what I hope is an ultimately uplifting story set in an uncomfortable time in Southern US history.

This post first appeared in a guest post for

Product Details

  • File Size: 473 KB
  • Print Length: 360 pages
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008HS2UCS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #536,803 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great, fun read! May 4, 2012
By Morti36
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book was a Fun read. I was intrigued by the subject matter and it didn't really disappoint. The book takes place (mostly) in the 1940s Georgia with the story centering around a family of a teenager who recently moved from the north after her father needed to find another job.

Overall, great story line. The characters were well planned out and had serious depth to them. The interactions and connections between all the characters was interesting and really helped drive the story forward. My only real criticism of the novel is that it almost seemed that too many topics were covered in the book. I would have liked to have had a few less with more depth to some of the larger story arcs.

Great book. I will definitely be recommending and loaning this one out to friends (as well as re-reading it in the future).

Disclaimer: I was contacted through GoodReads by the author after a giveaway and was given a copy of this book via Amazon.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute 5-star read!!!! July 8, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Absolute 5-star read!!

One short week ago, I ranted to my husband about not having come across a 4½ or 5-star read in far too long. Thank you, universe, for hearing my rant and offering up Jamie Scott's absolutely excellent historical fiction novel, Little Sacrifices!

Set in 1940s Savannah, Georgia, Little Sacrifices follows the life of May and her parents as they relocate, under duress, from the North to the South. May's parents are outspoken integrationists who have not only instilled their beliefs in their young daughter, but also often embarrass her in the course of their endeavors. In the beginning, for May, the South is hot, humid, and completely inexplicable. Thankfully, she meets Jim, the social outcast who lives next door and is more than willing to help May adjust and navigate the treacherous waters of segregated Savannah.

I can complain about nothing in this novel...AT ALL!! So, rather than gushing all over the place for several pages about the awesomeness of this read, I'll hit you with the highlights.

*Scott has crafted a plot that is dramatic, gripping, heavy, historical, and incredibly interesting. Fair warning, reader: this plot is not easy as it is a fictionalized account, based on detailed research, of life in the segregated South, a full decade and half before the Civil Rights movement began. Throughout the narrative, an intense tension is always simmering just below the surface and, from time to time, it breaks through the surface.

*Because of the detailed research, the setting, atmosphere, and language feels very real and absolutely believable. The reader easily becomes immersed in May's world.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling May 2, 2012
By JP1980
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This novel was such a wonderful treat for me. Not normally my kind of read but I gave it a whirl. I enjoyed this story so much I became sad as I was nearing then end of the book. Fantastic writing! The main character is so realistic! Loved it!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Thin plot, one dimensional characters March 19, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I wanted to give up on this book so many times. But I had fallen in love with the author's similes and metaphors. I truly kept reading so that I wouldn't miss one. She crafted her similes like a sculptor, carefully honing and polishing them. The plot, themes and characters disappointed me. The novel had such promise but never really got off the ground. It all felt very contrived, never organic, like it was synthesized to fit an outline or goals that only the author knew. At times it felt as though I was being hit over the head - "This is symbolic!!!! Don't miss it!!!! I put it here just so you would see the connection!!!" Poor storytelling.

One after another heavy topics surfaced, then petered out, not one fully mined. ***SPOILERS AHEAD IN THIS PARAGRAPH*** Racism, civil rights, dark family secrets, coming of age, teen pregnancy, incest, violence, abortion, moral choices, the Klan, child abandonment, running away... All of these and more are in this novel. After the first few themes emerged, I sighed as each new one appeared. I longed for a full exploration of only one or two in this setting (Savannah in the forties was in beautiful focus, along with fewer, full-bodied characters. Savannah itself may be the character with the greatest development, though it too is more described as it is/was, rather than how it matures, through the story. (For more cautious readers, a warning - there is a short but graphic scene of teen sex and another of an abortion.)***END SPOILERS***

May's voice is not consistently teen nor is it always era-appropriate, especially when she uses recent psychology to talk about her parents. Her first person narrative feels clunky and falls short in telling this story. On the other hand, I longed to hear Mirabelle's voice.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A beginning May 26, 2012
By Nancy
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The premise of the book and the characters were interesting. However, the story was a little too predictable and felt like a good outline. I would have liked to see both the characters and events more fleshed out.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Little Sacrifices September 7, 2012
By Tzingca
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This e-book reeled me in right from the beginning. I enjoyed the characters and the different story lines that were woven together. The story telling in the first person was realistic enough that I believed that the characters were genuine.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting story
The story brought to mind some of the things that happened in the South during the beginning of our civil rights
Published 1 month ago by ET43
4.0 out of 5 stars Tasteful but accurate depiction of Georgia's landscape & Mae's...
Thoroughly enjoyed this fictional account of Mae's life. As an Atlanta native, I was particularly impressed with the accuracy of locations within the State. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Caramelbelle
5.0 out of 5 stars GRAMMAR
I did love the story, however the grammar was awful. Doesn't anyone edit these books before they offered to the public?
Published 3 months ago by Barbara J. Wiar
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good book
I don't even bother to review books that I don't enjoy. This one is quite good. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Published 6 months ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Southern Charm and Hospitality
A Northern family from Massachusetts moved to Savannah Georgia in the 1940's. They find it is hard to become acclimated to the south due to differing opinions and beliefs. Read more
Published 8 months ago by love2read
5.0 out of 5 stars North Meets South
This story is told through the eyes of a 16 year old girl who moves with her parents from Massachusetts to Savannah, Georgia, in 1947. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Dallas B Sutton
5.0 out of 5 stars Great historical fiction story
The author really gives you the feel of what it was like being a teenager on the skirts of the civil rights movement in the south. Love the characters and loved the story.
Published 9 months ago by
4.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable
A little bit of history tied up with story telling. Having been raised in the north during a part of this story's era, it was interesting to learn just what happen to those... Read more
Published 10 months ago by k
1.0 out of 5 stars Why do 'coming of age' novels always have to have the ugh factor?
Really, I could have handled all the rest if this author had left out the teen sex & abortion part. Was that really germane to the plot?
Published 10 months ago by D. Parker
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Book! Story has depth!
I usually go for quick, cute, brit books. However, I was looking for some "cheap" reads, since I read so fast, books are too expense at my pace. Read more
Published 13 months ago by VeryMary Jewelry
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