Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Glory Field

Myers, Walter Dean. 1994. The Glory Field.

Recently released in a new paperback edition, The Glory Field is a true must-read. Why? It's practically perfect in every way. It is a novel that traces a family from its Sierra Leone roots to what was at the time of its publishing modern-day, urban America. The Glory Field loosely weaves together the story of one family through multiple generations. Our story begins with a brief vignette (1753) focusing on Muhammad Bilal, a young boy who is captured and sold into slavery in the South. Many settings, many narrators, many individual stories and legacies that collectively capture the African-American experience. (1753, 1864, 1900, 1930, 1964, 1994). It is an emotional, well-written, almost poetic journey. Very heartfelt. Very real. Very moving. The characterization is wonderful. I really came to love, came to care for all the characters across the generations. I've read a few other novels through the years that have sought to tell a multi-generational story...but none have been so effective, so masterfully done.

If you love historical fiction, then you MUST read this one. It's a truly great novel.

"We come a long way and we got a long way to go. You can't make much progress if you don't leave home, but you can sure mess yourself up if you don't remember where home is." (232)

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Booklogged said...

Such a positive review, Becky. Just added The Glory Field to my TBR list. Sounds wonderful.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I agree with Becky, a must-read! I have read this book for several years now with my 8th graders who are studying American history, especially slavery, Civil War, and Civil Rights Movement. It is such a powerful read and students can make so many connections!

Short Poems said...

Positive review, Becky. Thanks for sharing :)

marinela x x

Anonymous said...

i hate this book!!! i dont see how you people think it is a must read! burn the book, you will have more fun watching it die then reading it.