Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Liar’s Bench by Kim Michele Richardson

Published April 28, 2015 by Kensington

In 1972, on Mudas Summers' seventeenth birthday, her beloved Mama, Ella, is found hanging from the rafters of their home. Most people in Peckinpaw, Kentucky, assume that Ella's no-good husband did the deed. Others think Ella grew tired of his abuse and did it herself. Muddy is determined to find out for sure either way, especially once she finds strange papers hidden amongst her mama's possessions.

But Peckinpaw keeps its secrets buried deep. Muddy's almost-more-than-friend, Bobby Marshall, knows that better than most. Though he passes for white, one of his ancestors was Frannie Crow, a slave hanged a century ago on nearby Hark Hill Plantation. Adorning the town square is a seat built from Frannie's gallows. A tribute, a relic--and a caution--it's known as Liar's Bench. Now, the answers Muddy seeks soon lead back to Hark Hill, to hatred and corruption that have echoed through the years--and lies she must be brave enough to confront at last. 

My Thoughts…

Liar’s Bench starts with a hanging of a slave, Franny Crow, unjustly.    I knew at that point I was hooked.  I am so interested in the southern history.   A time so different from now, where the color of your skin matters in everything you do. 

The story then continues in 1972 with Mudas (love the name) finds her mother hung in her house with her baby sister witnessing the entire thing.   Mudas then starts her mission to find out who really caused her mother’s death.  While hiding her plans from her father, she makes many discovers about people in the community.    Rumors she heard are proven true and her well being is put on the line.   Mudas’ strength shows.   When she puts her mind to something it happens.

Mudas’ relationship with Bobby is also discovered.   I found it interesting to see how the different people in the community reacted to it.   Some accepted it or just didn’t pay attention, while some refused service or called him names as he passed by them.    That is hard for me to swallow, I understand that this was the way of the south, but I do not see the world in color.     Bobby, being from the “wrong” part of town, understands that this is the way of the world.    He tries to protect Mudas from hearing and seeing this wrong doing.   

Once I started Liar’s Bench I could not stop reading.   I loved the history, the story, the community, the mystery, and mostly, Mudas and Bobby.    I cannot wait to check out more from Kim Michele Richardson.   This is a book I highly recommend everyone picking up and reading. 

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