In one of Langston Hughes' most famous poems he asks "what happens to a dream deferred?" In the novel Glorious, by Bernice L. McFadden, we see what happens.
Easter Bartlett is a fictional Harlem Renaissance writer whose road to fame was paved with trouble, heartbreak and loss. As a child she was hit hard by the turmoil of the Jim Crow South, losing family and friends to the racial strife. But Easter had a talent and a dream, and her strength and resilience brought her out of her past and to Harlem where she would find success as a writer, only to have it all taken from her and be sent back to where she began.
In Glorious, Ms.McFadden blends fiction and fact to create a story that is both beautiful and heart-wrenching. There are many parts of the book which the reader will find raw and brutal. But the times that are written about were raw and brutal. McFadden presents these stories in a way which will shock and horrify the reader, but also makes the reader understand that it's not about being sensational, it's about telling the truth. Her writing is gripping, intense and haunting and each page brings to life the era the story is set in.
I love the way that Ms. McFadden blends historical reality into her fictional story. She captures the spirit of Harlem and its writing scene during the civil rights era through real and imagined characters and remains true to historical fact. It is obvious that an incredible amount of research went into this book.
This is a book that is difficult to put down. Easter Bartlett is a character who reaches out to you from the first page and who you never want to let go off. This is a beautiful story that needs to be told and is one of the best fictional books about black history that I have read.