Sunday, December 13, 2009
James Patterson Trial: Book Club December
James Patterson Trial
Ben Corbett, a lawyer, the grandson of Alex Cross's family. Teddy Roosevelt asked Ben, to go to Eudora, Mississippi and investigate if there is any lynching. Which Ben does find out there is quite a bit. It is kept hush, hush. This is the town where Ben was brought in.
President Roosevelt has asked him to sniff around and if there are attacks on "negroes", to report back to him. In the mean time he's wife threatens him If he leaves she will leave.
In the town of Eudora, Mississippi after the Civil War, "Negroes are to have rights. But they don't. The southerners don't follow the law. He comes back to the town and finds the town still doesn't follow the law. The town still believes it is ok to treat blacks this way. Blacks are only allowed to eat at black eateries, and black only sections for bathrooms and water fountains.
When Ben gets to dowm to Eudora he's father treats him very cooly. He was raised by he's very strict father. Ben, was brought up as very rebellious and having very liberal values.
While Ben, was down in Mississippi. He is hooked up with Abraham Cross. He shows him how the black man is treated by the KKK, and sees lynching,first hand.
There is plenty of blood and violence in this book. If you are faint at heart you may not want to read this book.
At the end of the book when justice is served unfairly. Ben decides he is going to show off his friend, a black women in front of the whole town. He knows this is going to start trouble. He kisses her in front of the town. We all know the town will not tolerate this kind of behavior from a white man.
Ben finds out that Teddy Roosevelt used him to make him look good to win black votes and black sympthizers votes. Only when Ben returned did he realize how he was used. Because now that everything came out ok, would the President take the credit. While Ben was down South the President told him he would deny he knows about Ben in the south.
Our book club discussed Trial, today. I was wondering how this would play out. We all wondered, would he go back to becoming a bleeding heart liberal to continue helping the injustices of the world or would he listen to his wife. He's wife wanted him to become a lawyer that just cared about making money not a caring lawyer. I guess we will just have to stay tuned and find out.
We did have a good discussion of course you can not have a good literary discussion with this kind of book. But, it was spring board for discussions of the treatment of blacks,and the south.
Our book club are all transplants from the north and now we live in SC. We all wondered the same thing. What life was like for the blacks and their treatment by the whites after the Civil War.
We had forgotten how recent lynching was still going on in the 60's. Boy, as we age we forget how time flies. I remember when I was little, living in Michigan and the Detroit Riots. When segregation of blacks and white was going to happen in the schools.
One person in our book club brought up she did not like the book because she was sick of hearing the poor blacks that's all you hear about. All of us responding back and said how would you like saying that about us and the Holocaust. I think she realized how that looked after she said it.
I never read Patterson before. This book was easy to read and easy to follow and kept my interest. I have not read a book about the south like this. It was interesting what it was like from a outsiders view and a black person's view, living in the south after the civil war. I am not sure if Teddy Roosevelt ever did get involved in sending someone to the south to investigate the treatment of blacks.
What was so odd is that I read this book right after reading Batt Humphrey's book, Dead Weight. It has some similarities. Treatment of blacks and injustices of blacks in the south.
I met James Patterson many years ago in Ridgewood, NJ. Believe it or not I still have not read any of his books. I am a hoarding bibliophile that bought his books but have not read anything from him yet until now.
Till next time when we read Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman keep those pages flipping.