Last night I finished Jam on the Vine and it is quite good. The book begins in 1897 and Texas. It is so refreshing to find a book that begins not long after the end of the Civil War with a focus on black people. I’ve read many post-Civil War books in the past, but they are usually focused on (and written by) white people. The author does a great job of showing the challenges that black people faced not only in the South, but everywhere in the United States at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. The book, especially during the last chapter, made me think of how much black people still struggle despite how many years it has been since slavery became illegal and the years when the book takes place.
While learning lessons of black struggle is important, the book is not non-fiction. It is an interesting story with well written characters. I even brought this book to the beach with me, when normally I would have brought my Kindle instead, because I wanted to keep reading it. (Sorry, library, I think I got 99% of the sand out of your book.) I would like to read more books by black writers that focus on black people during the years following the Civil War and up to WWII.
I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads and would love to see a miniseries tv show done of this book. It gets points on diversity in that the main characters are black, one of those characters is Muslim, the author is black, and there is a lesbian relationship. Buy it or get it from the library.