My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Paperback, 238 pages
Published December 17th 2010 by Flaming Chalice Press
Available on: Paperback, Kindle, Audiobook
Yellow Crocus is an unputdownable book. I started it and had a hard time putting it down to get to my normal activities. I read it in two days. It’s a great story that reminds you of the hard times families went through in Virginia back in the 1800s. And when I say families I refer to both, white or black families that had to face slavery and deal with all its consequences.
It is a story about the endearing unbreakable bond between two women: Mattie and Elizabeth. These two women shared a bond made of love and out of the fact that they both were victims of slavery. Mattie was born into slavery…she was a third generation slave. Lisbeth was a slave too, despite being born into a gold cradle. She was a slave to the ideals and duties that women of Virginia society were expected to follow:
Young ladies may speak to young men about the weather, meals, clothing, and their relatives. Avoid conversation concerning politics, finance, or religion. Though a gentleman may bring up such topics, and a lady must follow where a gentleman leads, a skilled lady will return the conversation to an appropriate topic.
When speaking with a lady who is older than you, you must follow her lead. Occasionally, though, you will be required to initiate conversation. Fashion, the weather and inquiries about relations are always appropriate topics among ladies. Do not allow a gentleman to overhear you speaking about courtship, literature or politics.
You cannot possible choose a husband based on the literature he cares for, nor can you reject a husband for how he treats the hands. You would be giving up everything. For what? It changes nothing.
Mattie and Lisbeth shared a bond that made them equals. These two undaunted women shared the courage that made them fight for their right to have a life of their own, a life they could freely chose.
I heard of this book, because it was recommended after I read The Help. This book is better than The Help IMHO. I recommend this book for those who enjoy historical novels, those who enjoy stories about strong bonds between women. It is a story about love, courage, suffering and hope.
Even though I enjoyed and liked this book, I couldn’t give it 5 stars for two reasons:
- The cover. One of the reasons I decided I wanted to read this book was the title. Yellow crocuses are special flowers to me, as my garden is covered in them. So I was drawn to the book immediately after reading the title. With that said, I have a question: Why does a book titled Yellow crocus have a purple crocus on its cover? Why? Ok, the purple crocus is reference to Mattie but still, why not put a yellow crocus? Why all the references in the story to the first crocus of spring and not put a yellow crocus on the cover? Why oh Why? This took half a star.
(The second reason might be some sort of spoiler so you can skip it if you want.)
- The ending. I’m in a phase of my life where I like happy endings. As for me, this ending wasn’t a happy one because despite of everything that Mattie and Lisbeth had to overcome to have the life they wanted to have, they weren’t completely free. They didn’t have the freedom to be the longtime friends they yearned-for. They even couldn’t greet each other on the streets. Despite the almost ‘mother-daughter’ bond they shared, in the end they lived their ‘free’ lives apart from each other. This took another half a star.
And for those reasons this one gets a good solid 4 stars on my list.
Read Yellow Crocus. You’ll enjoy it and will be happy and thankful that we’ve come a long way. 🙂
- Lithe: Thin, supple and graceful.
- Undaunted: Not discouraged or disheartened; resolutely courageous
- Garish: Marked by strident color or excessive ornamentation
All definitions by TheFreeDictionary.com