Mudbound by Hillary Jordan

Title: Mudbound
Author: Hillary Jordan
Published 2006, 336 pages
Bellwether Prize in 2006
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

“First time I laid eyes on Laura McAllan she was out of her head with mama worry. When that mama worry takes ahold of a woman you can’t expect no sense from her. She’ll do or say anything at all and you just better hope you ain’t in her way. That’s the Lord’s doing right there. He made mothers to be like that on account of children need protecting and the men ain’t around to do it most of the time. Something bad happen to a child, you can be sure his daddy gone be off somewhere else. helping that child be up to the mama. But God never gives us a task without giving us the means to see it through. That mama worry come straight from Him, it make it so she can’t help but look after that child. Every once in awhile you see a mother who ain’t got it, who just don’t care for her own baby that came out of her own body. And you try and get her to hold that baby and feed that baby but she won’t have none of it. She just staring off, letting that baby lay there and cry, letting other peop0le do for it. And you know that poor child gone grow up wrong-headed, if it grows up at all.”  (p. 83)

This quote is the basis for all of the book in my mind. Sure, it has a theme of social injustice, of Black and White relationships right after WWII in the Mississippi Delta. Sure, there’s a close look at husband and wife relationships, hardships of poverty, emotional wreckage from being a soldier in the war. But, more than anything, this book tells of a mama’s love for her son and just what she’ll do because of it.

I absolutely loved it.

15 thoughts on “Mudbound by Hillary Jordan”

  1. It did, but it's such a good book on so many levels, and it's so beautifully written. Our book club read it for this month, and so I missed the American Idol results last night, but it was worth it! 😉


  2. This sounds great…especially for mothers of sons. We all know how much we love them. I'm adding this to the pile. I like how you have given a quote as the essence of the book! Really neat way to do a review :)Happy Reading, Bellezza!


  3. Chic Geek, that quote just struck me so forcefully, and then to find that at page 83 it foreshadowed so much of the rest of the novel I couldn't leave it out! Plus, I'm always wanting to be careful not to give too much of the book away while reviewing it.Suzi Q, I'm not surprised to hear you read it long before I even heard of it!Andi, it's not to be missed. Really.JoAnn, I'm coming right over to read your thoughts on Home-Maker. Isn't it fun to have book clubs, who can expand (or narrow 😉 our horizons?


  4. Had not heard of this book before, but you make me want to run out NOW and find it! ( I mean, anything that would make one miss the American Idol final…. 😉 ) Thanks.


  5. I've heard such good things about this book, and I'm glad you liked it. It's always special when a book really speaks to you and what is important to you.


  6. Nancy, how do you all hear of the books so long before I? 😉 If it hadn't been recommended for one of my Book Clubs, I'd probably be blithely unaware. You, Suzi and Trish are all on the cutting edge!ds, there aren't many shows I watch, but American Idol has become one of them. I couldn't very well say, "Well, I'm not coming to Book Club because it's the finale," could I? Well, possibly. Still, I wanted to hear what the women said, and the majority loved Mudbound. I was the one who picked out the theme of motherhood, though; most of the others discussed the racial injustice which is really the predominant theme.Trish, isn't it great when the timing is spot on?


  7. I just bought this one from Amazon. I am going to read it for a challenge I have joined, and I've heard so much good about it. I only glanced your review, as I don't want to know too much, but from other glances around the book-blogs, it certainly seems like its a popular one.


  8. Louise, I hope you liked it as much as I did (and the other reviewers you have read). I tried not to give too much away in my post, horrified that I did so in The Dragon of Trelian post according to its author. I'd be interested in knowing what you thought of the many themes in Mudbound when you finish it.


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