Reviewed by Claudia Robinson

“To be part of history is a wonderful experience but, to stand perfectly still holding your breath those precious few seconds when you know history is imminent but before it is written; before it actually becomes history, that is overwhelming.” ~ Silas Boyd

In the Land of Cotton by Martha Taylor is a poignant and emotional chronicle of a young, unpretentious white girl coming to age in the color divided world of the fifties and sixties. Martha’s story places the reader smack in the middle of the civil rights war; a beautiful and heart wrenching journey through history that weaves a tale of forbidden friendships, misconceptions and human nature, at both its best and worst.

Martha’s passionate desire to break through the prejudice and learn for herself the truth, submerses the readers into the tumultuous, discriminatory world of soul mates kept apart by skin color and social stigma.

In the Land of Cotton is a prodigious must read for any generation. For those who experienced the world divided by flesh tone, Martha’s take will bring them back to an all too familiar, and perhaps even uncomfortable, territory. For others, it will be a heart and eye opening rendition of history, and the long, hard fought battle of equal opportunity and universal acceptance, not just between colors, but people.

Martha’s weaving of history and personal experience give readers a start to finish, can’t put down narrative, offering a singular panorama of an ever changing, ever adapting world and the people caught in the maelstrom of it all. It is a seamlessly written tale of love, moral dilemma, honor, political uprising, conviction and self-evolvement.

In light of this year’s Presidential Election, In the Land of Cotton can’t help but assume the form of a beacon of hope for any individual who has ever felt different and longed for more.

Well written, beautifully depicted and stirring, In the Land of Cotton is sure to present old and new readers alike with a unique perspective in to a part of history that shaped and molded past generations and formed the future, as well as to serve as a reminder that true love is, and always has been, colorblind.

Check out a great interview with Martha Taylor here.

Claudia lives on Cape Cod with her husband and two children. She entertains her passion for reading in between providing services to help empower and improve the lives of low-income residents.