Aug 8, 2012
When The Bough Breaks Review
Published: April 2012
Love, hate, ambition, greed, lasciviousness—human nature is laid bare in this story about the fall of the grandest house in Hebron, Georgia. Following the sudden death on the same night of her infant son and her rich and powerful husband, Ada McCallum, too young and too beautiful, must assume control of a vast empire and make her way in a world of men at war, at home and abroad. Strong willed Ada, a twentieth-century Scarlett O’Hara, succeeds in business and in love, but her behavior can be reckless and her choices unwise. Local newspaper editor and McCallum family friend Carl Goodman narrates Ada’s life and reveals dark secrets. He also chronicles race relations, ghost sightings, and happenings in and around Satilla County.
WHAT I THOUGHT
If you love Gone With The Wind, you'll like this book! I'm not sure if this book really has much of a plot, but it was intriguing. The first pages are filled with the deaths of her husband Hiram and her baby, Hiram Jr. That sets the mood for this book- sad. An editor for the paper (whose name we finally find out at the end of the book) is that narrator. He tells us Ada's story- lies, deceit, triumph, and loss. Boll weevils (which I had to look up because I had no clue what they were), drought, WWI, racial segregation (keep in mind that all of this happens in 1916, which is on the front door of the war), and murder brings together a community.
The editor sees things that he never thought he would see. As he fights against the Klan, his life is threatened. He sees his friends and community residents lose their homes to foreclosure, drought, and the Klan. He witnesses the loss of lives, even those close to him.
I actually loved this book. The only reason I gave it a 8.5 was because it wasn't like most books I read that are set in the here and now: A goal. Sure, Ada's last demand was that her story be told, but then again, I read a lot of cozy mysteries (It's a real genre! Look it up!) and I'm used to the characters aiming towards a suspect and eventually the arresting of the perp. Anyways, it was a great book and a real eye opener to what happened in the south, and what they had to do to get by. Makes life nowadays seem so much easier.
You can purchase When the Bough Breaks from Barnes&Noble for $14.95. An e-Book version is available.