Book review for All the Past Days, All the Days to Come by Mildred D. Taylor
(Viking Books for Young Readers, January 7, 2020)
I’ve never read this author before. In fact, I didn’t even realize this was an ongoing story/series of the Logan family until I was almost finished. Which means it stands alone pretty well without having read the earlier books of the series. The reason I discovered there were previous books with this family is because I kept wondering why this was categorized as a “Teen” novel. I’m guessing when the author started the series, the protagonist was a teen. Now she’s in her twenties and thirties. It didn’t feel at all like a book from the Young Adult genre. That being said, it was still an interesting read, even though I was looking for a YA book.
There wasn’t any huge concept in the story, but it was definitely an insightful look at what life was like for the African American community in the Deep South in the ’50s and ’60s. Which was painful! The struggles were horrific, and it felt like an authentic (as best as I as a white woman can vouch for from my own study of history) rendering which helped me better understand and empathize with the challenges of black people there and then, and recognize the racism that has existed in our country for too many centuries. The southern white people were hard to take. There were a couple of white characters in the south who weren’t horrific, but most were. It might have been true, especially in the perception of minorities who lived in the Deep South during this time period, but for the sake of good writing and satisfying reading, it might have been helpful to have less extreme, one-dimensional characters. The voter suppression and struggle to vote even after the laws were passed to protect the right of black people to vote, certainly is timely, as voter suppression continues today, and as blatantly as it’s being done right now, with the president even admitting publicly that if the minorities were allowed greater freedom to vote, the election would have completely different outcomes. I definitely recommend reading this now, maybe using it with discussion in your reading group, and learning from it to see what the black community has dealt with for so long and continues to deal with now during this Black Lives Matter era.
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Life with Quadruplets
As a mother of quadruplets, I've had plenty of crazy experiences raising "supertwins." I blog a lot of memories about my kids. Sometimes just my thoughts on things. I get those sometimes—when my brain works. Which is about one third of the time.