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