Due to underwhelming replies for this book, I’ve extended the giveaway to December 31, 2012.
One randomly selected winner will be selected from the comments section. Please include your name and email in the comments section, so that I may notify you if you win. The winner will be notified by email and will have 24 hours to respond. Should I not receive a reply, another winner will be selected. The author will be mailing the autographed book to the winner selected.
Synopsis: In 1837, Lisbeth Wainwright is born to the white mistress of a sprawling Virginia plantation. Seconds later, she is delivered into the arms of her black wet nurse, Mattie. For a field hand like Mattie, her transfer to the big house is supposed to be considered an honor—except that the move tears Mattie away from her beloved grandfather and her infant son, Samuel. But Mattie is a slave, with no say in the matter, and so she devotes herself to her master’s daughter, though she longs to be raising her own child. Growing up under Mattie’s tender care, little Lisbeth adopts the woman’s deep-seated faith in God, her love of music and black-eyed peas, and the tradition of hunting for yellow crocuses in the early days of spring.
As the years pass, Lisbeth is drawn slowly back into her white parents’ world and begins to learn the ins and outs of life for a high-born young lady. Still she retains her connection to Mattie, befriending Samuel and drifting comfortably between the two worlds. She accepts her parents’ assertion that their slaves depend upon them for guidance and protection, yet that notion becomes more and more difficult to believe as she gains awareness of the inequality of life in the big house versus the slave quarters. When, on the threshold of her society wedding to debonair Edward Cunningham, Lisbeth bears witness to a shockingly brutal act, the final vestiges of her naiveté crumble around her. Just twenty-one years old, she is forced to choose between what is socially acceptable and what is right, a decision that will change her life forever.
This compelling historical novel chronicles young Lisbeth Wainwright’s coming-of-age during one of the most difficult chapters of American history. Lisbeth’s powerful bond with Mattie makes her loss of innocence in the face of society’s ugly secrets all the more heartbreaking, and yet it is the courage she learns from her stand in mother that enables Lisbeth to blaze a new path for herself. Yellow Crocus offers moving proof of how the greatest social change often blooms forth from small personal acts of love.
Meet Author Laila Ibrahim:
Laila Ibrahim’s education and experiences in multiracial, developmental psychology provided ample fodder for the story of Mattie and Lisbeth. Laila Ibrahim was the founder and director of Woolsey Children’s School where she had first hand experience loving children that were not her own. As a birth doula she is privileged to witness the intensity and joy of childbirth. She currently works as the Director of Children and Family Ministries at the First Unitarian Church in Oakland. She lives in a co-housing community in Berkeley, California, with her wife, Rinda, their children, Kalin and Maya, and their dogs, Bella and Lucie. Yellow Crocus is her first novel.
Laila has graciously answered a few questions for Books in the Burbs and
is offering a free book of “Yellow Crocus” to one randomly selected winner!
What first moved you to write this book, “Yellow Crocus”?
I was surprised when the writing bug bit me. The idea for the story came to me in 1998, I was with a group of people talking about Tiger Woods. Someone mentioned that he identifies as much as an Asian person as an African-American person. I thought to myself, “Of course he does, his mother is Asian. You form your core identity in relationship to your primary caregivers. It’s a basic part of the attachment process.”
What was your thought process when you first started creating your characters?
The image of Lisbeth, a white baby, breastfeeding in the loving arms of Mattie, an enslaved wetnurse came to me in a flash. I thought about what it would be like for Lisbeth to dearly love Mattie and then be taught by society that she wasn’t a full person. I wondered how it would feel for Mattie to be forced to abandon Samuel, her own child, in the slave Quarters. Then I imagined what the experience would be like for Miss Anne, the birth mother, to have her own child twist away from her to get into Mattie’s arms. These characters started to haunt me. Various scenes popped into my head. Though I had never written anything, I was being called to tell this story. For my fortieth birthday, I began the personal marathon of writing my first novel.
How did your experiences best prepare you for writing this book?
My experiences in multiracial, developmental psychology provided ample fodder for the story of Mattie and Lisbeth. I was the founder and director of Woolsey Children’s School where I had first hand experience loving children that were not my own. There are scenes in the book that were largely influenced interactions I had with children from Woolsey. As a birth doula I have the privilege to witness the intensity and joy of childbirth. You can see that my birth experiences are reflected in the novel as well. I recently started working as the Director of Children and Family Ministries at the First Unitarian Church in Oakland. I live in a small co-housing community in Berkeley, California, with my wonderful wife, Rinda, our amazing children, Kalin and Maya, and our crazy dogs, Bella and Lucie. Yellow Crocus is my first novel.
Some new characters are starting to haunt me. So I dare say there will be more books in my future.
One randomly selected winner will be selected from the comments section. Please include your email so that I may notify you if you win. The winner will be notified by email and will have 24 hours to respond. Should I not receive a reply, another winner will be selected. The author will be mailing the autographed book to the winner selected.
Giveaway Ends: December 31, 2012
- Review: Yellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim (booksintheburbs.com)
- E-readers kindle enthusiasm for learning among children in Kenya | Laila Ali (guardian.co.uk)
- Yet another case of stoning; Sudan women continue to be caught up in the chaos (sudantribune.com)
- The Girl Who Played With Fire (mrmovietimes.com)
- The Emancipation of Lisbeth Salander…a guest blog post. (thetattooedgirl.wordpress.com)