The setting is a nineteenth century Virginian plantation. Mattie is the wet-nurse slave assigned to care for the privileged newborn Lisbeth (Mattie had her own baby, but her new charge was deemed more deserving of her milk and care.) A strong bond is formed. Lisbeth and Maddie love and interact with each other as only a 'mother' and child can. As the story continues, Lisbeth becomes a young woman, with all the challenges that that circumstance brings.
While this book is not a difficult read, it's complex. The characters are deep and richly developed. Ibrahim is able to create an atmosphere that feels alive, like something is developing and has the potential to erupt. I enjoyed the poignant, thoughtful scenes, like how Lisbeth compares her smooth pale skin against Mattie's dark, weathered, scarred skin in a moment of reflection rather than a moment of criticism.The other characters present readers with many opportunities to add to the depth of this narrative.
Why the title? The yellow crocus apparently rivaled the sun in it's brightness. Of course the flower produces valuable saffron and it's a beauty that can grow in a hostile environment. Maybe, this all represents Lisbeth and Mattie's relationship and how they both grew in the unlikely company of each other.
I feel this is an excellent read providing food for thought. It's engaging and an exploration into the history/behaviours of the times. It's also a narrative that focuses on the characters and their make-up.
- Paperback: 252 pages
- Publisher: Amazon Publishing (19 August 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1477824758
- ISBN-13: 978-1477824757
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.5 x 21 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 381 g
- Customer Reviews: 9,598 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 316,079 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)