Book Review: The Twelve Mile Straight

Book Summary:

Cotton County, Georgia, 1930: in a house full of secrets, two babies: one light-skinned, the other dark-skinned, are said to be born to Elma Jesup, a white sharecropper’s daughter.

Accused of her rape, field hand Genus Jackson is lynched and dragged behind a truck down the Twelve-Mile Straight, the road to the nearby town.

People come from all around to see the black and white twins.

Elma raises her babies with the help of Nan, the orphaned daughter of the housekeeper. Nan was raised alongside Elma, who never knew her own mother.

Lies don’t get less complicated; unfortunately the longer one lies the more complicated the lies become.

Such is the problem for Elma in the hard scrabble farm life in which she lives.

My Review:

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I enjoyed reading about the relationship between Elma and Nan, raised as close as sisters.

The book explores the racism that was so rampant in the 1930s. Breaks my heart to think that people were treated like that. Another time, another way of life.

This is a wonderful book for those who love history, relationships, and the complications of love and secrets.

About The Author:

Author Eleanor Henderson

Eleanor Henderson was born in Greece, grew up in Florida, and attended Middlebury College and the University of Virginia, where she earned her MFA.

She is the author of two novels: The Twelve-Mile Straight (Ecco, 2017) and Ten Thousand Saints (Ecco, 2011).

An associate professor at Ithaca College, she lives in Ithaca, New York, with her husband and two sons.


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