Thank you so very much to Penguin/Viking for allowing us the opportunity to read and also to giveaway a copy of this wonderful novel. Glow is Jessica Maria Tuccelli’s first novel (!) and she is now easily an author that I will look to in the future. Hopefully her next novel is not too far off! (Seriously!)
I’m also very happy to have read it in paperback version and not on the e-reader. Glow has a wonderfully detailed family tree at the beginning of the book, and with all its characters and family history, being able to flip quickly back and forth between the page you were at and over to the family tree(s) was wonderfully helpful. Without being able to flip back to see where the characters connected would surely mean you lost out on so much of the bonds across many generations, and their three, intertwined races. Glow is, in the very least, a fantastic tale of connection and how each of these characters – white, black, native Indian – are intertwined with one another.
The promotional material for Glow states it is “Lushly conceived, cinematically detailed, and epic in historical scope.” Absolutely! Glow was a very beautiful and stunning book to read. From the very first pages I was drawn right in. It’s fantastic reading! Ghosts, spirits, evil, slavery and also the hope, promise, joy and love among these characters.
The description of Glow is taken from Tuccelli’s website: October 1941. Eleven-year-old Ella McGee sits on a bus bound for her Southern hometown. Behind her in Washington, D.C., lie the broken pieces of her parents’ love story—a black father drafted, an activist mother of Scotch-Irish and Cherokee descent confronting racist thugs. But Ella’s journey is just beginning when she reaches Hopewell County, and her disappearance into the Georgia mountains will unfurl a rich tapestry of family secrets spanning a century.
Told in five unforgettable voices, Glow reaches back through the generations, from the eve of World War II to the Blue Ridge frontier of 1836, where slave plantations adjoin the haunted glades of a razed Cherokee Nation. Out of these characters’ lives evolves a drama that is at once intimately human and majestic in its power to call upon the great themes of our time—race, identity, and the bonds of family and community.
So you can see how everything about this description sings of a novel that I knew belonged on my shelf. A multi-generation saga, a tapestry of family secrets, multiple voice/perspective and a good old southern read. Yup. Sign me on. And it was everything I anticipated it would be and more. Tuccelli is a very gifted writer! Gorgeous prose, beautifully described, heartfelt and touching emotions pouring out on every page, the words flowed like a beautiful, rippling stream of water.
I strongly encourage you to read Glow, you will surely not be disappointed. It was a read I savoured, it seemed to take me longer to finish than my normal reading progress. This was not due to any dislike of it at all, I was merely lost in it and savouring the words of Glow. Basking in the glow perhaps? I did find myself stopping many times and just enjoying the words and the emotions she’s written. Many times. It was something that touched me, is so emotionally written and will stay with me for quite some time for certain. Right up to the very, very end you are completely invested in this story. It simply won’t let you go. It’s also an incredibly emotional story that decidely confirms history’s unfortunate way of repeating itself. 4.5 stars.
A person got to wonder at the misery one human being inflict upon another. Got to wonder what the Lord intended (Willie Mae Cotton).