Carolina Gold Rice: The Ebb and Flow History of a Lowcountry Cash Crop
Author: Richard Schulze
Published: April 1, 2012
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars
Carolina Gold, the celebrated variety of rice established in the South Carolina Lowcountry, perhaps saved the fledgling colony at the beginning of the eighteenth century and remained integral to the local economy for nearly two hundred years. However, the labor required to produce it encouraged the establishment of slavery, ultimately contributing to the region’s economic collapse following the Civil War.
Richard Schulze, who reintroduced this crop in South Carolina after nearly a century’s absence, provides this fascinating inside story of an industry that helped build some of the largest fortunes in America. Drawing on both historical research and personal experience, Schulze reveals the legacy of this once-forgotten Lowcountry icon.
I love this little book so much! I’m sure y’all know by now that I’m a nerd, a really weird nerd. And historical nerdiness is my cup of tea. I got so excited when I found this book at the Charles Pinckney Historic Site in Charleston on my last trip. I had read books about rice for papers back when I was in college, Ivan and I went to the rice museum in Georgetown, SC, and I’ve become fascinated with rice production. I’m, by no means, a great historian, but I’m able to fake it pretty well with the things I learned as a history major in college, and one of my greatest pet peeves with history books is when they have no real documentation or evidence for anything so they just speculate. Drives me nuts! But Dr. Schulze did not do that. He stuck with documented, historical fact, without judgement or his own opinion getting in the way.
Revisionism has ruined Southern history and fiction for me. Dr. Schulze didn’t buy into any of that. Obviously, slavery was an integral part of the Southern states, but instead of turning this book into an emotional expose about how wrong slavery was and how horrible the Confederacy and Southerners were, Schulze stayed on topic and stuck with the facts. I appreciated that to no end! He never got boring when describing the technicalities of rice growth and harvesting. I loved how he then made it personal by describing his own attempts at rice cultivation. The numbers and little details of irrigation and ornithology were things I hadn’t considered and knew very little about. He was able to put the industry in a perspective that I’ve never seen before in my own studies of rice culture.
Overall, this was a quick and easy read that gave a plethora of information. I know I’m a weird nerd who finds little things like rice production fascinating and not everyone else does, but I would recommend this book to any historian or anyone wanting to learn about Southern agriculture.
Author: Sally Hepworth
Published: March 6, 2018
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: February 25- March 6, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
A gripping domestic page-turner full of shocking reveals, perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty, Amanda Prowse and Kerry Fisher.
The small suburb of Pleasant Court lives up to its name. It’s the kind of place where everyone knows their neighbours, and children play in the street.
Isabelle Heatherington doesn’t fit into this picture of family paradise. Husbandless and childless, she soon catches the attention of three Pleasant Court mothers.
But Ange, Fran and Essie have their own secrets to hide. Like the reason behind Ange’s compulsion to control every aspect of her life. Or why Fran won’t let her sweet, gentle husband near her new baby. Or why, three years ago, Essie took her daughter to the park – and returned home without her.
As their obsession with their new neighbour grows, the secrets of these three women begin to spread – and they’ll soon find out that when you look at something too closely, you see things you never wanted to see.
If you enjoy novels with multiple points of view and short chapters, then The Family Next Door is for you! We have five points of view from Ange, Fran, Essie, Barbara, and their mysterious new neighbor Isabelle. Through them, we get to know the people of Pleasant Court… and their many secrets and betrayals.
Family begins with Essie leaving her newborn in the park alone. Then we fast forward three years. From this beginning you are pulled in and want to know what happens next. Life is anything but ordinary and boring at Pleasant Court and everyone has secrets and lies. You don’t know what will come next and you do not want to put it down! If you liked the show Desperate Housewives then you will really enjoy this novel!
You don’t know what direction the secrets will take you on this journey and you will constantly wonder what is coming next. The short chapters with alternating points of view keeps you saying, “Just one more chapter!” until it is way past your bedtime! Some of the secrets and realities are outlandish (like Desperate Housewives was) but still make your jaw drop.
Hepworth wrote Family while pregnant and edited it with her newborn, so naturally she was home a lot and found herself wondering what her neighbors were up to. This is a novel that will leave you wondering who your neighbors really are and what are their secrets! Because you know they have them…. We all do….
The Family Next Door is highly recommended. Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for providing me an arc copy to read and review![Top]
Author: Neal Shusterman
Published: May 5, 2005
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars
Dread Locks is the first entry in the Dark Fusion series from master storyteller Neal Shusterman. He cleverly weaves together familiar parts of fairy tales and Greek mythology to tell the story of fourteen-year-old Parker Bear, rich and utterly bored with life—until a new girl arrives in town. Tara’s eyes are always hidden behind designer sunglasses, and her hair, blond with glimmering spirals, seems almost alive. Parker watches, fascinated, as one by one Tara chooses high school students to befriend; he even helps her by making the necessary introductions. Over time, her “friends” develop strange quirks, such as drinking gallons of milk, eating dirt, and becoming lethargic. By the time Parker realizes what Tara is doing, he is too embroiled to stop her. In fact, she has endowed him with certain cravings of his own. . . .To say more would spoil the spooky fun of this wild thriller—let the twist speak for itself and leave you still as a statue.
Neal Shusterman is easily becoming one of my all time favorite authors! Everything he writes holds me enthralled through the whole story! I found Dread Locks at 2nd & Charles and I got so excited! I was waiting for the next book in another series that Shusterman wrote to get here from Amazon, and this one is short so I read it, and loved it! Shusterman has a way of being philosophical without being pompous or hard to understand. Dread Locks is a mix of fairy tale and myth. Yes, there is a subtle difference between the two and Shusterman weaves them together flawlessly. I honestly have no critique to give with this book.
It’s an imaginative story that’s meant to be experienced through your imagination so don’t expect to take it all literally. There are little lessons to learn throughout; the characters are likeable, they could have easily moved into annoying, but they never did. And my very favorite part of this story is the ending! Holy cow!!! But I can’t tell you, you just gotta read it for yourself!!!! 😊 I’d recommend this to any teen, I think this is a good book to get them into reading. I’d also recommend it to anyone looking for a short but interesting read.[Top]