As Bell Creek falls into ruin, Conklin explores the shifting responsibilities of slave and master, student and teacher, patient and nurse.While she never reaches the psychological depth of Toni Morrison or Edward P. Because when the pages of Facebook are brimming with pictures of over-achieving children, Martha Stewart-esque birthday parties, and Food Network-worthy bagged lunches, it’s easy to believe you’re the only one who doesn’t have their stuff together.
What’s particularly unfortunate is that there’s a fine story chopped up and sprinkled within the pages of this book. His wife, the dying mistress of Bell Creek, fancies herself a painter, but Josephine is the real artist of the affecting portraits that will someday be regarded as masterpieces of 19th-century American art.We’ll pick our favorites to feature in our next installment! Nice jammies (Full Metal Mommy) Sarah Maizes is an award-winning author and humorist.She’s the author of several humor books for grown-ups and picture books for kids, including On My Way to Bed. ) Follow her on Facebook and subscribe to her bloggy goodness at “The Help,” which has sold millions of copies, “The House Girl” depicts privileged white women and oppressed black women in a familiar, unchallenging way that strokes our liberal sensibilities and lets us feel again the sweet pleasure of racial enlightenment.Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but Conklin’s novel gives the impression that it has been genetically engineered for women’s book clubs.And it seemed Josephine’s heart pulsed with the skittering movement of Missus’ eyes, that the two of them lay prostrate together before the same cruel God.The two of them not so different after all, Josephine realized.All this time, these long, hungry years, each of them alone beside the other.” That lush, gothic tone simmers throughout these 1852 chapters, enriched periodically by letters from two white people who tried to help Josephine.It’s a dramatic montage of narrative and personal testimonies that depicts the grotesque routines of the slave trade, the deadly risks of the Underground Railroad and the impossible choices that slaves and abolitionists faced.Jones, she does convey the impossibly bizarre relationships that slavery created.Spared from the crushing labor of farm work, Josephine finds that she is “not of one world or the other, neither the house nor the fields.” She and her dying mistress care for each other within a system of institutionalized brutality that neither of them openly acknowledges.