Thursday, September 23, 2010


Click to purchase from Amazon.

Bloodroot is a first class novel. If you are interested in the South or slavery this is the book for you. As you read you begin a journey into the reality of what the late 50’s and 60’s must have been like. The author says that Bloodroot is fiction but it is “based on the life…of Harry Weatherholtz” the real life grandfather of the author’s wife. The book tells us that Harry, Evelyn Weatherholtz, the Baldwin family and Ruth are real people. As the story unfolds we see the racial prejudice of this era and for some we can realize that “prejudices still abound.” (Arrowood, pg. 217)

It’s the summer of 57’ and Mr. Cutshaw, who does not hide “disdain for Christianity” symbolizes racial ignorance that permeated the thoughts of some in these times. In fact, for Cutshaw it was “white man’s Christianity” that put “foolish idea’s into the heads of Negroes.” (Arrowood, pg. 17) Cutshaw watches and goads little Eddie, a young black boy, to wade deeper into the water. Cutshaw has snagged his lure, while fishing, and sent young Eddie in to do his bidding. Ms. Ann, Eddie’s sister and also in the employ of Cutshaw, stands by urging Eddie not to go too far…

Was the drowning an accident or purposeful? The wheels of justice turn ever so slowly in this story. Is this much different from reality? Especially in the 50’s and 60’s in the South? The author does a great job in demonstrating this. The Sheriff becomes afraid to buck the system given the status of black people during this time. After all, during these times did they take a black woman’s word over a white man’s?

I am writing a review and not a spoiler so you will have to get the book to know the rest. Harry Weatherholtz cuts to the heart of our culture, today even, when he says, “decent hearted men are a rare find. They develop from personal choices and conscientious effort…” (Arrowood, pg. 121).  Change or things of value do not occur over night in many cases. They do not simply materialize. Things like toadstools come up over night but it is things like oak tree’s that take time. It starts with choices.

Larry M. Arrowod

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by Larry Arrowood

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