A powerful fictionalized account of Zora Neale Hurston's childhood adventures explores the idea of collective memory and the lingering effects of slavery.
"History ain't in a book, especially when it comes to folks like us. History is in the lives we lived and the stories we tell each other about those lives."
When Zora Neale Hurston and her best friend, Carrie Brown, discover that the town mute can speak after all, they think they've uncovered a big secret. But Mr. Polk's silence is just one piece of a larger puzzle that stretches back half a century to the tragic story of an enslaved girl named Lucia. As Zora's curiosity leads a reluctant Carrie deeper into the mystery, the story unfolds through alternating narratives. Lucia's struggle for freedom resonates through the years, threatening the future of America's first incorporated black township -- the hometown of author Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960). In a riveting coming-of-age tale, award-winning author T. R. Simon champions the strength of a people to stand up for justice.
Review 4 out of 5 stars
Reading stories set during the time of slavery twists the stomach into a knot.
Though most of us have never and might never have to experience such a cruel era of servitude and dehumanization it’s a sore spot. A spot that smarts at the mere mention.
But it’s also a time to take it all in, a time to learn, and a time to understand. A time to come together mentally, and collectively.
Zora and Me and The Cursed Ground are a time-telling story of the slave era—told through the voice of a pre-teen girl who’s best friend happens to be the now illustrious Zora Neale Hurston.
Told in the juxtaposition of two different time eras, post and pre-slavery, there is a startling and searing similarity between the past and present. Effortless and seamless transitions between the times allowed for clutter-free reading. The author does a stellar job of weaving the two sides together as they eventually overlap but do so without stuttering about.
Beautifully written, and engaging, the reader will be enraptured in a world so far from their own but it will feel like it’s happening right in front of them like a 3-D film.
Thoroughly impressive and downright realistic, this book is a must-have.
The characters are rich and practically leaped off the page with life.
Enough can’t be said about the goodness of this novel—and readers will yearn for more adventures of these two girls—both young and old readers alike.