This was one of the best books I read all year in 2004. Set in Birmingham AL in 1963, it connects the stories of several families and generations as they confront and struggle through this watershed year of the civil rights movement.
I read this book because I loved Ahab's Wife. What a tale! Set in Birmingham in the early '60s, Jeter weaves wonderful characters into her story to bring the civil rights struggle to life.
Powerful book, set in Birmingham in the racial-torn 60's. The story is told from several points of view, including white students from Birmingham Southern College, liberal in their hearts but with no real understanding about how to make changes in their lives; black women determined to make a stand, as well as some just as willing to sit by quietly. The violence is told matter-of-factly, which makes it even more horrifying. The "Four Spirits" are the four girls killed in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, and they serve as a thematic element in the story as their spirits appear and reappear at different time. As a Birmingham native, I can attest that Naslund sets an excellent and accurate sense of place. I can't say that it was really an enjoyable book, but one that put my mind and my heart to work.
This was a really good book, a little slow getting started but as I recall so was Ahab's Wife ( same author). If you enjoyed AW, you'll enjoy this. She has a wonderful way about her writing that puts you right in the middle of the action. This is painfully accurate of the south in the early-late 60s; integration, segregation, murders, fear, terrorism of our own people on our own soil. very passionate book
a stunning work of historical fiction... everyone should read this book