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
This is a powerfully told story. It is the fictionalized account of four young people living in Birmingham, ALA, in September, 1963, when four children were killed in the bombing of a Baptist Church.
A New York Times Notable Book, this one was also declared Best Book of the Year (2003) by the Los Angeles Times, Seattle Times and Louisville Courier-Journal. Set in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963, FOUR SPIRITS takes readers into the lives of "blacks and whites, racists and civil rights advocates." You won't forget Stella Silver . . .
A wonderful historical novel! Sena Jeter Naslund does an excellent job of blendng real historical events with fictional characters. Although some events in this novel are also fictional, they are factual in depicting the horrors of the early 1960's in Alabama. For anyone who is old enough to remember the Civil Rights movement, this novel will stir memories of events you saw on the evening news. For those who are too young to have experienced that era, you will get a feel for what it was like. The author writes with great character development. The story is told through the points of view of several of the characters. It's a long book, but reads fairly quickly because of the multi-character narrative style. This is a story that will make you think. There is so much that we take for granted now concerning human rights. This book makes us realize that we have come a long way...but there still is a long road yet to travel.
This novel is set in Birmingham during the turbulent 1960's. It is beautifully written, with wonderful character development and recreation of time and place.
An engaging and very moving story with a true ensemble cast of characters, wonderfully read by Isabel Keating. Those who listen through the acknowledgements at the end will be treated to an interview and reading with the author.
One of the best books I have read.