There was a time when I was able to read book after book. I would spend my weekends reading, and would down at least two to four books at a time. Life happens, as they say. For me, life happened. Not only did I start writing books of my own, family and “work” took priority. There was no way that I could keep up with something I LOVED so very much.
One day, someone suggested I try audio books. I darn near scolded them at the idea of listening to stories. I made myself read as time would allow, but I recently ventured out into the audio world. Amazon has an option called Whispersync for Voice-ready. This service is available on various titles – mine is available by way of my KindleUnlimited subscription. I downloaded several books and started on a new journey. One of the titles, which will remain nameless, just didn’t have the proper tone to keep me engaged as I worked. But then…
I’ve seen the cover for “Yellow Crocus” by Laila Ibrahim for some time now. I wasn’t entirely sure that I wanted to read the story. You can say that I might’ve been somewhat biased because I just simply didn’t want to venture beyond that cover. Honestly, I’d often consider, if it was a slave book or something meant to spark a reaction from an old era. If so, then I needed a powerful read. These thoughts filled me before I read the book description. I sought out information on the author, in my consideration of this title. I questioned her motive and ability to produce a story that supports the cover I saw. It’s important for me to mention that these are the types of things readers tend to carry into their readings. Our personal qualms and idiosyncrasies feed our experience with any text. I chose to step outside of Janice Gail Ross and try to be as unbiased as possible.
I began Ms. Ibrahim’s audio story one day at work and finished the next day. The narrator did a fairly good job in bring the text to life. “Yellow Crocus” is an unintentional family, love story of sorts. Mattie, a black slave, came to be the wet nurse for Lisbeth, a child who didn’t necessarily receive the love and appreciate of her white family. I do not believe that there was enough consideration given to the roles of the slaves, especially since Mattie spent her time indoors. Even in my unbiased attempt at examining this text, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for Mattie. She had a family – husband and young child. Her family was pretty much taken from her, yet she had to deal with it and continue on in her duties. This was the author’s choice to provide limited details, so I can’t knock her for what she chose to do. Nevertheless, the story also showcases Lisbeth’s journey into womanhood and the part that Mattie played in her life. I can’t say much more without giving away the story, though the slavery part can be inferred. I do not believe in giving spoilers, so I will try to sum things up as best as I can.
I laughed and cried several times, even wore a big smile. It was a decent story, considering that I tried to remove my personal biases. I do wish the author had taken the time to put more heart into the emotional side of slavery, but that was her choice. Also, historical fiction is one of my favorite genres, but this almost didn’t seem to fit the category. Perhaps it just wasn’t historical enough. I’m torn between giving the story 3 and 4 stars. 3 stars for the way in which such a dark time in US history was brushed over. 4 stars for the audio experience and author’s ability to keep me engaged.