I was given the opportunity to read and review, A Place Called Jubilee by Timothy J Garrett. I was intrigued by the description:
"Deception, witchcraft, and the secrets of a long-dead former slave churn the life of ambitious young clergyman Coleman Hightower – even as fear, bombings, and riots rock the nation. Timothy J. Garrett’s historical novel A PLACE CALLED JUBILEE tells Coleman’s story as he leaves his mountain home and arrives in Washington D.C. in 1961 as the Civil Rights movement explodes across America. Coleman’s plans for a prestigious life are torn apart by his forbidden longing for beautiful and fiery activist Rosalee. His search for meaning turns into a desperate journey that takes him and the woman of his dreams all the way to Jubilee, Alabama – a place where intrigue, betrayal, and murder combine to make Coleman wonder if he will win Rosalee’s love or even leave the tiny town alive. "
The book does change time and place between chapters (easy to follow and each chapter tells you the time and place) but the majority of the story takes place following President Kennedy's 1961 inauguration that Coleman witnesses.
The reader is introduced to Coleman and the rough childhood he had in the mountains. He was raised by is Granny who we are told was a conjurer and his rough and stoic father. His granny always told him e would be 'more' and he was able to break out of the mountains and attend college. Following college he moved to Washington D.C. to learn from a pastor and to one day have his own church.
However, following the inauguration, Coleman is almost killed and is saved by a young woman who changes the course of his life. Rosalee makes Coleman question all that he thought he was going to do with his life.
She is heavily involved in the civil rights movement and this intrigues Coleman.
Another life altering moment occurs and Coleman is faced with a choice, Rosalee or becoming a prominent pastor.
There are a few twists and turns and a little magical realism that just kind of muddles things a bit and a lot of talk about civil rights, relationships between black and white people and the treatment of black people by white people. There is heavy use of the 'n' word.
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I was given a copy of this book for review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.