In the Land of Cotton
Autobiographies, Book Review, Civil Rights, Coming of Age, Historical Nonfiction, Nonfiction, Vietnam War

In the Land of Cotton by Martha A. Taylor

I started my book review blog in 2009 and I have read so many outstanding books that I wanted to share them again with my followers on #SegueSaturday. I first posted this review in May 2009. A great autobiography set in The South filled with lasting friendships, first love, civil rights, and the heartbreak of war. Enjoy!


“In my parents’ and grandparents’ world skin color was an everyday reminder. In my world it had become the color of life.” ~Martha Taylor

Martha Taylor’s autobiography chronicles her life in the South starting in 1956 through 1968. She is a lonely white girl in Tennessee who bonds with her black housekeeper, Lucy Boyd. When her father loses his job they have to let Lucy go, and unbeknownst to her family, Martha follows Lucy to her home. Martha is taken in by Lucy’s family and meets Silas who is her first black playmate and the love of her life. Though Martha’s family moves to Texas, she keeps in touch with the Boyd family and especially, Silas, who goes to Chicago to get a better education and joins the service to fight in Vietnam. Ms. Taylor includes the history of the civil rights movement, from the Rosa Parks refusal through the assassination of Martin Luther King which is placed in context with the story.

It is a heartwarming, heart-wrenching, coming of age, story that takes us back to a time of struggle and destiny. Ms. Taylor’s writing is unpretentious and beautifully written. A must read for old and young alike.


In the Land of Cotton

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My writing career has been, until the last few years, one of those “don’t quit your day job arrangements”. Having made my living as a tax professional, I found early on that my creative writing skills came in handy when I had to write client letters to the IRS.

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