Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Natchez Burning by Greg Iles...

How I Heard About It:  The gal that cuts my hair shared with me this title on my every three week visit.  We usually end up talking about books and she couldn't stop talking about this particular novel.  I did a bit of research on the book and decided that it would be the first pick of the BBC (Boy's Book Club) for this school year.  My BBC is an all men's book club with some of the staff I work with.

What It Is About:  This is a major novel at over 800 pages.  There is so much going on in this story that it is hard to narrow it down.  Penn Cage is the main character and is the Mayor of Natchez.  His father is the town doctor that has an impeccable reputation for as long as anyone can remember.  The story goes back and forth between present day and the 1960's when the KKK was in full force in the southern states.  There were brutal murders during that time that were never solved.  Henry is a reporter from town and has been on a quest to solve what really happened back in the 60's.  When a black nurse returns to town and ends up dead, Henry is hot on the trail to find out what happened to her and how she was involved in the cases "back in the day."  Penn's father is a major suspect and Penn doesn't know what to believe.  Penn and Henry team up to bring the "bad guys" to justice and just finally figure out what really happened in the past and during present situations.  

What I Thought Of It:  It took me a long time to read this being that it is a major undertaking and I also was trying to read several other things at the same time.  I loved the story and found it quite powerful.  Even though this is a work of fiction, I know it is based on true events in our country's history.  The writing style was outstanding and flowed from page to page.  As long as the book was, it actually wouldn't take too long to read if you devoted some time to it.  One of the member's of our book club finished it in under a week.  The plot was quite suspenseful and the character development was really strong.  This is the first book in a series of three novels so not everything was solved by the end of the book which was a bit frustrating, but just makes me look forward to the next installment.

Who Should Read It:  If you are an adult reader and a fan of historical fiction then this is the book for you.  Strong writing, interesting characters, gut-wrenching scenes, and a plot that doesn't stop; makes for a very satisfying read.  Happy Reading...

Rating:  4 STARS out of 5 Stars

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