Edward Farmer’s engrossing debut, Pale, begins in 1966 in the burning heat of Mississippi, when Bernice, whose husband left with all their savings and didn’t return, accepts her brothers invitation to join him in working on a cotton plantation.
She is slowly immersed into a household full of secrets, deception, revenge, and downright cruelty, which revolves around two young brothers who come to work on the plantation. One becomes a pawn to enact revenge, and the other is mistreated, lied to, and trapped by the choices of others.
As the story slowly unfolds, we see that for some, there is a perceived thin line between servant and slave, and how revengeful choices can define and change lives through generations.
People who like novels set in the south, will love the author’s rich descriptions of rural Mississippi, including the cotton fields, jacaranda, cicadas, and pestering summer heat. What a great debut!
Thanks to #NetGalley for the ARC! https://www.netgalley.com/book/176864/review/625966