THE BEQUEST OF BIG DADDY ~Jo-Ann Costa
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.
“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.
This particular book is only $4.61 on KINDLE
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