Emily Prudhomme is terrified of her stepfather, and for good reason. A man who was raised by an abusive father and uncle, he is convinced that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is talking to him personally through a radio he keeps in his office.
Emily, alienated by her stepfather’s bizarre behavior, is befriended by Glorious, an African-American girl with beautiful amber-colored eyes and the ability to see the thoughts of others. Outcast because of their differences, the girls become fast friends.
When a tragic accident occurs on the banks of the Little Missouri river leaving one girl dead and the other hopelessly maimed for life, rage and revenge creates a firestorm that not only destroys a town but the lives of two families.
Glorious is a fantastically tragic story of a small town ripped apart by a series of events set in motion by the meddling of one delusional man. I honestly can’t say how much I enjoyed this book. Although it is not something I would normally pick up I’m glad I got the chance to read it.
In the late 1960’s little Overton is a town in which the patrons generally get along and are cordial with each other in the midst of civil unrest everywhere else. But when Stan thinks he hears a personal message from Dr. Martin Luther King that the schools should be integrated, he sets in motion events that will eventually rip apart the town and pit friend against neighbor.
The black population of Overton don’t want to give up Carver, their school that was built, run, and taught by blacks for 100 years. And the White population don’t want the Black population joining their school either. But with orders from the government, Carver will be closed and the schools integrated despite the fact that everyone in the town, besides Stan, want things to remain as they are. In the midst of the burgeoning chaos, Emily find friends and solace in some unlikely characters. A black girl named Glorious with brilliant amber eyes, and two Native American children rally around her offering their support and friendship.
More than anything I felt sorry for all the children involved in this story. The four misfits each have something peculiar about them that make them prime targets for bullying by many of the other kids, but I love that they look past that in each other and become friends. But the things that go on and happen to these kids are saddening and tragic. And while reading this book it was really hard for me not to blame most everything that happened on Stan and his ever growing insanity.
The evil this man stirs up is astounding and heartbreaking. Of course Stan thinks he’s done absolutely nothing wrong and continues on with his mission despite everyone’s obvious objections. He convinces himself that they will eventually fall in line and that he only has the best intentions. But we all the know the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and that’s exactly what happens to the town. Although it was fascinating being in his mind, it was also somewhat frightening because I could so easily see how someone could think and feel and act as Stan did in this book. And the things he did to his family were, for lack of a better word, insane.
By the end of the story and in the aftermath of burnings, killings, injustice and insanity, the town is nothing but a shell of it’s former self and two families were left destroyed. I love that this story did not end with an unrealistic happily ever after. There really was no coming back from the events that occurred in the book, but I do love that each matriarch comes away with some hope and a will to move on and get on with their lives.
Overall I thought it was a great book and Snodgrass has a unique and intriguing way of telling a story. The writing was excellent and the story was compelling. If you like historical fiction and enjoy reading about the civil rights era, this is the perfect book to read.
PLEASE MAKE SURE TO JOIN ME TOMORROW FOR AN INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR, PATRICIA SNODGRASS AND GIVEAWAY OF GLORIOUS.
Filed in: Fantasy, Fiction, Historicals, Reviews Tags: Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Historicals, Patricia Snodgrass, Review