- Paperback: 252 pages
- Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (August 19, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1477824758
- ISBN-13: 978-1477824757
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 13,159 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,027 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Yellow Crocus Paperback – August 19, 2014
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"Yellow Crocus is an engaging, thought-provoking story. It's a must-read for anyone who enjoys Antebellum historical fiction or is looking for a compelling story to add to their book club reading list." —Katerie Prio, ForeWord Clarin
About the Author
Laila Ibrahim spent much of her career as a preschool director, and that, coupled with her experiences as a teacher and her education in developmental psychology and attachment theory, provided ample fodder for the story of Mattie and Lisbeth in Yellow Crocus. In addition to being a writer, Laila is a birth doula and Director of Children and Family Ministries at the First Unitarian Church of Oakland. She lives in a small co-housing community in Berkeley, CA, with her wife, Rinda, and two daughters. She is hard at work on her second novel.
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1. Horrified at times- being reminded how slaves were so badly and brutally treated back then, seeing Mattie's anger displayed in an early scene (no spoiler) that left me holding my breath and being made to remember how women were treated during this period of time too.
2. Angry at others- as when Mattie was torn from her family, including her 3 month old baby and was supposed to be pacified by being able to visit them for a few hours on a Sunday, witnessing through the young heroine's eyes the brutal rape of a young slave girl (not graphically depicted) and reading the general attitudes of people on the black/white person/non-person issues common to this time.
3. I laughed in spots and I cried in others while reading it which means for me it was a pretty darn successful story. I can't ask for much more then that from any author.
Some have said that they found the book only suited for teens because parts seemed to have been written for a YA audience. My response to that is that the plot of this book revolved primarily around 2 things, us getting to watch Lisbeth grow up and her changing attitudes as the book progressed and life through the eyes of Mattie (Ma-ie). I believe these scenes that felt more YA were to give us a flavor of what it was like to grow up during this time and don't know of any other way it could have been done if some of the young girl's activities and thoughts (life on a daily basis) weren't represented. The other perspective life as seen through Mattie's eyes was more adult because she was an adult and had to grow up pretty early on because of the circumstances of her life.
I wish there was a sequel to this one something I almost never say!
::SEMI SPOILER ALERT::
Without giving too much away, my heart was pounding from the time Lisbeth arrived at Edwards house to the time she spoke with her parents in the parlor. My heart also pounded as Mattie and Jordan traveled. I couldn't help but think how slaves really made their way North with the coldest fear of being caught nipping at every step they took.
I would really like to see this story extended. What happened to the people who stayed in Virginia. The story left off at the cusp of the civil war. Everyone who stayed was so sure of their way of life. Did those who left actually become abolitionists? The story never mentioned that. I would also like to see the relationship between Mattie and Lisbeth continue on closely.
For this to be the author's first book, she did an outstanding job and I would definitely like to read more of her work.
I highly recommend this page turner.
I began Ms. Ibrahim's audio story one day at work and finished the next day. The narrator did a fairly good job in bring the text to life. "Yellow Crocus" is an unintentional family, love story of sorts. Mattie, a black slave, came to be the wet nurse for Lisbeth, a child who didn't necessarily receive the love and appreciate of her white family. I do not believe that there was enough consideration given to the roles of the slaves, especially since Mattie spent her time indoors. Even in my unbiased attempt at examining this text, I couldn't help but feel sorry for Mattie. She had a family - husband and young child. Her family was pretty much taken from her, yet she had to deal with it and continue on in her duties. This was the author's choice to provide limited details, so I can't knock her for what she chose to do. Nevertheless, the story also showcases Lisbeth's journey into womanhood and the part that Mattie played in her life. I can't say much more without giving away the story, though the slavery part can be inferred. I do not believe in giving spoilers, so I will try to sum things up as best as I can.
I laughed and cried several times, even wore a big smile. It was a decent story, considering that I tried to remove my personal biases. I do wish the author had taken the time to put more heart into the emotional side of slavery, but that was her choice. Also, historical fiction is one of my favorite genres, but this almost didn't seem to fit the category. Perhaps it just wasn't historical enough. I'm torn between giving the story 3 and 4 stars. 3 stars for the way in which such a dark time in US history was brushed over. 4 stars for the audio experience and author's ability to keep me engaged.
This story harkens back to a time that most people know existed, but not to the extent that it existed. This is the story of a white family in antebellum south and the slaves they own. It's a story of a wet nurse/mammy who raises a little girl from infancy until she is 12. Mattie loved Lisbeth like she was her own, and after circumstances drove Mattie and Lisbeth apart, each wondered about the welfare of the other. I won't give away any more of the plot.
This story is written and edited so excellently that it was hard to put it down. I will be starting the sequel immediately. Tonight, in fact. Well done, Ms. Ibrahim, well done!