This story takes place between 1771 and 1794 in the small coastal town of Beaufort, North Carolina. It chronicles the very harsh lives of three generations beginning with Tabitha, the granddaughter, and going back in time to Helen the mother, and Asa, the grandfather. Helen’s slave Moll also figures in the narrative.
The story is bleak, and what little bits of hope the characters occasionally have pretty much always get dashed. At the end, it doesn’t even end. And the takeaway? There isn’t any, as far as I could see. Other reviewers were impressed by the writing, but for me, writing needs to take me somewhere. This book seemed less like a coherent story and more like a series of set pieces about bad lives in rough times.
Evaluation: While I didn’t get much out of this relatively short novel, for a different viewpoint be sure to check the mostly positive reviews on Goodreads.
Published by Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins, 2014