Glorious by Bernice L. McFadden
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating: 3.5, DNF
from Goodreads: Glorious is set against the backdrops of the Jim Crow South, the Harlem Renaissance, and the civil rights era. Blending the truth of American history with the fruits of Bernice L. McFadden’s rich imagination, this is the story of Easter Venetta Bartlett, a fictional Harlem Renaissance writer whose tumultuous path to success, ruin, and revival offers a candid portrait of the American experience in all its beauty and cruelty.
Glorious is ultimately an audacious exploration into the nature of self-hatred, love, possession, ego, betrayal, and, finally, redemption.
It's really hard to say if I liked Glorious or not. I liked it in some ways, in some ways it was good but I could not like it, and in other ways I disliked it.
One of the reasons I did like it, was the writing. McFadden has an interesting writing style: She writes like people think. You get asked a question and you have a million things you want to say, and a million thoughts go through your head at light speed, but all you say is a short quick answer that has no significance to the person who asked, but has monumental significance to you because of your thoughts behind all of it? That's what reading Glorious feels like, and that's how McFadden writes. It's beautiful and insightful.
Glorious is really hard to enjoy, even if you do like it, because of the things that happen. It's a tragic time period, and a lot of horrible things happen to poor Easter. She witnesses families being torn apart by abuse and rape, she sees people die, she commits sins, she gets wrapped up with the wrong people. There are good parts, wonderful parts that make you smile and sigh and say "thank God something good is finally happening to the poor girl." But then there are other parts that say "oh will it ever end for poor Easter?" It's hard to enjoy stuff like rape and murder and lynching. Glorious is a wakeup call, reminding us what life was like for Black Americans (respectively) after they got their freedom, but before they gained equality with Whites.
I got to Chapter 23, about 2/3 of the way through, when I stopped reading. It didn't feel like anything was happening. I mean, lots of things happened to Easter, but nothing was happening in the story. It was just her life written out, and it was too broad. There was no main plot, it was all subplot.
I "enjoyed" (or maybe appreciated is a better word) the part that I read, however I don't think I should read something unless I feel urged to continue.
Content: Adult content. Language, violence, rape, etc. Has some homosexuality
Recommendation: Ages 18+