Starting our second week already and I’ll be talking about another one of my favorite books that I rave about all the time and that’s Jam on the Vine. Jam on the Vine is LaShonda Katrice Barnett’s 2015 debut novel. This is another novel that literally flew right under the radar at its release. People I don’t understand why! This book has everything that could interest avid readers like us.
Walking in the footsteps of storytellers like Toni Morrison and Alice Walker, Barnett’s writing is rich and full of life. She isn’t just telling us a story; she’s bringing us along with her characters. This passionate story follows the lives of two African-American women journalists at the beginning of the twentieth century and of the existence of African-American newspapers. I was immediately wrapped up in the how and what of black American newspapers and its importance at this time period. Barnett doesn’t just woo us with a good story, she gives us information about this traumatic period in America of Jim Crow and depicts the importance and difficulty for blacks to be journalists and to print newspapers. Jam on the Vine made me want to read The Defender How the Legendary Black Newspaper Changed America by Ethan Michaeli. I haven’t read it yet but it’s definitely on my nonfiction must reads list, even though it’s a little over 500 pages. It will be a challenging read but one of necessity to know more about black American history.
I recommend this book to readers who appreciate excellent writing, a bit of sensuality, great food descriptions, historical fiction novels, interesting characters, and stories set in the beginning of the twentieth century.
“Ivoe Williams, the precocious daughter of a Muslim cook and a metalsmith from central-east Texas, first ignites her lifelong obsession with journalism when she steals a newspaper from her mother’s white employer. Living in the poor, segregated quarter of Little Tunis, Ivoe immerses herself in printed matter as an escape from her dour surroundings. She earns a scholarship to the prestigious Willetson College in Austin, only to return over-qualified to the menial labor offered by her hometown’s racially-biased employers.” (Jam on the Vine, inside flap)
Jam on the Vine – La Shonda Katrice Barnett
Publisher: Grove Press
My rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
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