Friday, February 4, 2011

Deed So by Katharine A. Russell - REVIEWED

About the Book:
It is 1962, and Agnes Hayden Bashford, Haddie, a brainy Southern teen from a tradition-bound family, dreams of breaking free from suffocating expectations placed on girls and from Wicomico Corners. She vows to escape to the exhilarating world beyond its narrow borders, like her handsome, older friend Gideon Albright who is going to Vietnam. A series of shocking incidents brings the outside world crashing down on her peaceful village, exposing long-buried family secrets and setting Haddie on a collision course with an unstable firebrand who will have to silence her to protect his identity.

Haddie witnesses the fatal shooting of a black teen by a white down-on-his-luck farmer trying to protect his retarded son. The resulting murder trial attracts outside agitators and political aspirants, and pits townspeople against each other. Excited about being a witness in the trial, Haddie sees her moment of notoriety dissolve into frustration and discomfort and tragedy claim the people around her.

The racially-charged case exposes civic fault lines and secrets within Haddie's own family, shattering her comfortable home life, and unleashes an arsonist who terrorizes the community by night. In Deed So, a young girl and an entire town lose their innocence in the last year of innocence, the year before the Kennedy assassination, the civil rights struggle, feminist activism and the Vietnam War changed America forever.

My Thoughts:
This is a very well-written story that captures the heart of a teenage girl growing up and discovering herself amid the social tumult of the time. Haddie experiences many disturbing and enlightening experiences that forever alter her life and her view of mankind and the way they relate to each other and God.

This is a self-published book, but the tone of this story is very reminiscent of To Kill a Mockingbir
d. Haddie and her family are well-developed characters, and the readers will ache for Haddie as she tries to find her way through some emotionally difficult circumstances. I wish her mom hadn't been quite so protective of her, but her dad's understanding of her personality made up for it!

This is a great read, and different from what I usually tour. It is not a "Christian fiction" book, per se, but there are a lot of truths about the human condition that come to light within the story. I am happy to recommend Deed So to my readers.

About the Author:
Katharine A. Russell is a former healthcare executive who holds a bachelor's degree in historyfrom Northwestern University, a master's degree in journalism from Boston University, and a certificate in creative writing from the UCLA Extension Writers' Program. The author is writing the Pointer Mystery Series under the name Kath Russell.

About the book:

Deed So by Katharine A. Russell

ISBN: 978-1453775035

Publisher: CreateSpace

Date of publish: Nov 18, 2010

Pages: 438

S.R.P.: $16.99

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