Sunday, June 23, 2019

In My Father's House by Ernest J. Gaines

Rating: 3 of 5 stars
Pages: 224 pages
Published: June 1978 

In My Father's House by Ernest J. Gaines was the June read-along with one of my online book clubs. The book itself if relatively short, but there is a lot of detail contained in this story set in the 60s during the Civil Rights Movement in the small town of St. Adrienne, Louisiana. The story begins with a mystery man, Robert X, who comes to town. His entrance directs the story to the revered Reverend Philip Martin. During the course of the novel, we learn than Reverend Martin has led two lives, and the house of cards he so carefully built is all about to fall down due to the presence of the young Robert X.

This is the first book I've read by Gaines. I found his writing to be simple yet powerful; clear yet descriptive. He captured the essence of the time period and the struggles that many people of color were facing during that time. He presented the story in a fair way that left me thinking about it for days after I've finished reading it. Having read this book, I'd definitely be interested in reading more of his writing.

I think if I could have read this story when it was first published in the late 70s, it would probably have had a higher rating. However, more than 40 years later, some of the plot just made me frustrated because we've come so far. So, even though the book was short, it was difficult for me to plow through. Not only because of the status of African Americans but also women. I think I struggled with Reverend Martin's treatment of his wife (as well as her acceptance) more than anything. But those were the times.

Recommendation This was a good read. I don't know that I would have picked it up on my own, but I am thankful it was selected for our monthly book club reading.

Until next time ... Read on!

Regardless of whether I purchase a book, borrow a book, or receive a book in exchange for review, my ultimate goal is to be honest, fair, and constructive. I hope you've found this review helpful.


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