Southern trees bear strange fruit, blood on the leaves, blood at the root. ~Lewis Allan, 1937
The author of this gripping story, who grew up in the north Georgia town of Cumming, situated in the foot hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, has written a scathing account of what happened at the turn of the century and beyond in his community. The novel is about the history of this town and the surrounding areas, places that were mostly farming communities, back in the day. Places that still feel the impact of slavery, the Civil War, and Reconstruction.
As a resident of the area, I feel the ghosts of days long past, a history that includes a violent reckoning, a removal of people of color, people who had farmed, peacefully, for generations. It is a story that resonates throughout the area to this day. Forgotten by most of the country, told as a myth, and denied by many who reside here, the author has painstakingly researched the mists of the past and told the story that needed to be told. Now, as in the past, white supremacists continue to keep their foothold. The KKK is deeply entrenched here, hidden within the folds of surrounding communities.
I highly recommend this gripping novel. I started reading and could not put it down.