I love to read and have been in a book club for more than 12 years. The women in my book club have varied tastes and as a result, I’m privy to a luxuriously packed list of books on-deck. I’ll be the first to admit that about half of the books I read each year are forgotten by the next, so when a particular story stays with me, I love recommending it.
I recently finished, “Yellow Crocus” by Laila Ibrahim. This is the story of a young southern girl, Elizabeth, and her beloved, but enslaved, nursemaid, Mattie, circa 1840, and the deep bond that forms between them despite Elizabeth’s naivete about the dynamics of slavery and her role in them, and Mattie’s love for her own biological children and her will to live free.
“Yellow Crocus” is hopeful and uplifting without trivializing the ugliness of life in the deep south during slavery. More “Romeo and Juliet” than “Gone with the Wind” (but without the tragic ending), both Elizabeth’s and Mattie’s lives are immeasurably changed – Elizabeth’s especially – by the unlikely love that blossoms between them to bear fruit in barren soil.