Monday, October 5, 2020

Under The Tulip Tree by Michelle Shocklee



Sixteen-year-old Lorena Leland's dreams of a rich and fulfilling life as a writer are dashed when the stock market crashes in 1929. Seven years into the Great Depression, Rena's banker father has retreated into the bottle, her sister is married to a lazy charlatan and gambler, and Rena is an unemployed newspaper reporter. Eager for any writing job, Rena accepts a position interviewing former slaves for the Federal Writers' Project. There, she meets Frankie Washington, a 101-year-old woman whose honest yet tragic past captivates Rena.

As Frankie recounts her life as a slave, Rena is horrified to learn of all the older woman has endured--especially because Rena's ancestors owned slaves. While Frankie's story challenges Rena's preconceptions about slavery, it also connects the two women whose lives are otherwise separated by age, race, and circumstances. But will this bond of respect, admiration, and friendship be broken by a revelation neither woman sees coming? 


Past and Present mixes rather nicely in this novel. The author has done a very nice job with this book. I enjoyed it very much.
The past can define us as to whom we become in the future. It can make us or break us if we let it.
I have never been more prouder than I was with Rena and Frankie.
These amazing women sure have some powerful stories to tell. I got lost in their stories. I found myself wanting to cry many times especially when Frankie was remembering her past. I really couldn't imagine going through what Frankie or Rena has and coming out much stronger and courageous for it.
Redemption and forgiveness are a part of this story too.
My favorite quote:
"Hatred is a powerful thing." " It can turn a person into something they ain't. It don't matter what color your skin is. "
Yes, sometimes it's hard to let go and it never really goes away but if we decide to accept God's love and forgive even if it's for yourself I'd like to think that we can be at peace. Hate and fear just eats a person up on the inside and out.
Forgiving isn't always easy which was why I admired Frankie that much more! I think my mouth dropped open when I found out how old she really was!
I was delighted to see that the author mentioned Fisk University in her novel. I had the honor of meeting someone from Fisk. He was a young guest pastor at the church I was going to at the time. I was so excited to meet him because I'd just got done reading Tamera Alexander's book. I felt like the timing couldn't have been more perfect!
This novel was so very good! This is like the fourth book this year that has spoken to my heart. Inside is a story that needs to be read especially because of 2020's events going on.
I highly recommend this book. It wil speak to you in more ways than one. Trust me.
My thanks to Netgalley/Tyndale House for an ecopy of this book. I was NOT required to write a positive review and all opinions are my own.


Michelle Shocklee is the author of several historical novels. Her work has been included in numerous Chicken Soup for the Soul books, magazines, and blogs. As a woman of mixed heritage--her father's family is Hispanic and her mother's roots go back to Germany--she has always celebrated diversity and feels it's important to see the world through the eyes of one another. Learning from the past and changing the future is why she writes historical fiction.

Her NEW time-slip novel, UNDER THE TULIP TREE, set in 1930s & 1860s Nashville, is a story of unlikely friendship, reconciliation, and forgiveness. It is based on the Federal Writers' Project Slave Narratives of 1936. After reading over 100 slave narratives, Michelle wanted to tell THAT story. The story of an FWP writer interviewing a former slave, hearing her story firsthand, and what the FWP writer learns through this experience. Many of the scenes in UNDER THE TULIP TREE are taken directly from the slave narratives themselves.

THE PLANTER'S DAUGHTER and THE WIDOW OF ROSE HILL, are historical sagas about redemption and righting past wrongs. Set on a Texas cotton plantation in the 1800s, you'll journey through the pages with flawed characters who ultimately find grace while coming face-to-face with the evils of slavery. No character is left unchanged by the end of each book. Readers say they can't put these books down!

With both her sons grown, she and her husband now make their home in Tennessee, not far from the historical sites she writes about in her new book. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

The Songs that could have been by Amanda Wen

ABOUT THE BOOK Two couples in love. Two sets of impossible circumstances. One powerful God of grace. After a tailspin in her late teens, Lau...