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THE BEQUEST OF BIG DADDY is a very fun read and a very fast read and I was so happy to have it to pick up and put down while waiting at all my appointments.   I had just finished THE KITCHEN HOUSE  which is all about the Southern Plantation from the slave’s perspective and has become quite popular. Whereas THE BEQUEST OF BIG DADDY is definitely a view of the South from the Caucasian viewpoint pre- Civil war, through reconstruction and to present day family reunions.

Jo-Ann Costa the author of the BEQUEST saga, now hails from California, but belongs to a family tree of the largest “good ol’ Alabama family reunion group that meets today; over 400 members present at each gathering.  With a twinkle in her eye and connected to her pen, Costa creates memorable stereotypical characters that take us from the loss of the gracious Georgia Plantation through the Civil War, Reconstruction, and into the present experience of tight knit family loyalties and traditions being played out repeatedly even today.

At the beginning, a very angry daughter produces a lie and a son  for the protection of the Plantation and wealth, these two individuals are shipped off to a “safer” family home in Alabama to ride out the War.  The new Big Daddy is allowed to wander and grow undisciplined and unloved.   Throw in several very fearful experiences include loneliness and the path is laid out for the development of the role and the wealth which will come as the child learns about power, control and manhood.

I thought the book shared some deeper southern tales about the convicts who were used to keep the south working, producing and not appearing to have slaves.  Of course, most of the convicts were freed slaves arrested on trumpeted up charges and still working the farms and mills.   Also the role of the southern “old school” politicians is spelled out in smaller relief so that one is enabled to an understanding of  how that same control and power model is being played out in Congress and Legislatures currently.  Those values are almost DNA embedded now; it will take heaps of education and time to begin changing that mode of behavior and the belief systems which fuel it.

After spending 3 years of my life as a neighbor of the Billy Graham Crusades and that religious fervor, I would say that the Reverend is the Big Daddy of another mode of southern power and control which has not lost it’s dynamics over time either.

Oh what can be born of fear and hate, even when we call it love and strength?

It took me about 6 hours to read this book and I want to share it with my book group.  I think some of the power of this book is because it is easy and fast to read and I think it would make a great companion for High School and College students for their American History course work. (Or is that still required?)  I think everyone will enjoy reading THE BEQUEST OF BIG DADDY.

tlclogoThank you once again to TLC online book tours for sharing this book with me.  I did receive an advanced reading copy from Koehler Books.

“The Bequest of Big Daddy, An epic adventure of Civil War and Reconstruction South. First runner up Award for Historical Fiction”

Related Reading:  This is a list of reviews I have written and I think are related to the topic in this book. I invite the reader to explore the RECOMMENDED READING tab at the top frame of this blog, because there are hundreds of books listed there and links which you might also enjoy.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Sacks

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13 Responses to “THE BEQUEST OF BIG DADDY ~Jo-Ann Costa”

  1. Hilary Says:

    Hi Patricia .. both books sound interesting .. but for now I’m swamped with books to read – which I must get into once the A-Z is finished!

    I enjoy reading about the Louisiana south – it just draws me in somehow ..

    Cheers Hilary
    Hilary recently posted..Y is for Ypocras …My Profile

    patricia Reply:

    This was a very good read and I think the South in the USA is the closest to the old feudal estates of England and then they took a strange turn when they held on to slavery and boxed themselves in or traditions and old rules – on the whole they do not seem to be trying to change. Watching the southern states and the middle of the USA take away all of women’s health care rights and sell creationism and Intelligent Design – and watching folks sell the rest of the country their snake oil is not only fascinating but horrendous to live through.

    I know the feeling of being swamped with books…I am just reading every spare minute as publishers, tour groups and authors are asking me for reviews…I am 11 books behind still and that is not counting 4 books for my book groups. Good thing I love to read.

  2. Talon Says:

    Six hours? That was a fast read, Patricia. The southern part of your amazing country has an allure that history only serves and never deters.

    patricia Reply:

    There is a fascination with the South and I am now on my 4th book about the south coming onto the scene after the success recently of THE HELP. I think folks have always been fascinated and the folks from there hold strong and fast.

    As beautiful as the countryside – in general the people are not friendly or open to strangers. There is a young journalist now in Portland, Oregon who went to the same college I did in North Carolina – I wonder how he is liking Portland and it’s artistic ways?

    I know I was never welcomed. Only tolerated because I could sing – that is how I finally was accepted during my social work practicum….I knew the Scottish versions of the folk songs they knew

  3. Laurie Buchanan Says:

    Like Talon, I love the idea of a six-hour read! Thank you, yet again, for another great book review.

  4. Alien Ghost Says:

    Hi Patricia,

    Six hours? The only kind of books I can read that fast were the “Animorphs”, while competing with my son when he was 12, as a way to motivate him to get into reading. The first 10 books I won…the other 40 he won! LOL We had a great time reading those books and commenting them later; it really help us to connect more as friends and buddy readers than father and son :)

    Alien Ghost recently posted..The Music Gods of FarawayMy Profile

    patricia Reply:

    That is how I got my children to read and write too – we had so much fun and we practiced happy dancing too!

    I have done a lot of reading, why kids were at soccer practice, tennis practice, swim lessons, piano lesson and speech therapy – I always had a book.

    This particular book had a pacing to it that quickened my pace. I was rather startled when I was finished. The story was complete, but I was able to keep it moving and I wanted to say how easy it was to pick up and put down – I just finished another book that I had to go back and read the last section or two over again every time I returned to it because I could not keep the characters or names straight. I could never read a Russian Novel or a classic at this pace.
    There was a fun to this book not found in many books.

  5. Sara Says:

    You got me with these words, “With a twinkle in her eye and connected to her pen…” That’s great writing, Patricia.

    I will check this book out or look for it at the library. Like others, I impressed with the six-hour-read:~)

    Another excellent review and thank you~
    Sara recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: Jail BreakMy Profile

    patricia Reply:

    I have 4 books in 7 days review session coming up next week…I am still 2 full books down and with 6 more reviews in the queue – this one had a clever style that moved it along very quickly and I found myself searching for these “twinkles” as I read.

    Thank you for your kind words…Truly I just put down what I would like to read – I hate where the reviewer or movie trailer tells too much and takes away the thinking and metaphorical quality. I never read the blurbs from the publishers that come with the book until after I have written my review – I have almost stopped going to movies because they often choose the understanding that is trite and simple minded –

  6. Vishnu Says:

    APpreciate the book review Patricia. I do go to the movies first haha to see the adaptation and then read books to get both sides of a book – one interpretation and then the author’s original work.

    Intrigued by your nieghbor – the BG Crusades – really? And the Reverand. Thanks for an insightful review.

    patricia Reply:

    Welcome and thank your for your nice comment. I like to see movies because so often they are interpreted in a different way than I found the book to be and they usually can only focus on one theme in a movie – the book I am reading now has 3 very distinct themes and from several cultures.

    Yes having the BG live just down the road was quite an experience. I found them to be very selfish people, or “my way or the highway.” They did not even try to understand others. I was very happy to move far away from their negativity.

  7. Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours Says:

    You can’t really go wrong with short and entertaining!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour. I’m featuring your review on TLC’s Facebook page today.

    Patricia Reply:

    Heather J
    Thanks for the highlight…it is not so short just a fast read.
    I am hoping my book group will choose this one too

    Good history lesson