Blackberry Days of Summer: A Novel

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Simon and Schuster, Jun 19, 2012 - Fiction - 288 pages
2 Reviews
In an exciting historical whodunit, a young black man is murdered and even though suspects abound, no one is trying too hard to find his killer.

The novel begins as “The Great War” is coming to an end. As Robert Parker’s body is lowered into the grave, Herman Camm introduces himself to the mourning family. He is a beady-eyed, small-framed, well-dressed man with a mysterious stare—and he is about to drastically change the lives of three women: Mae Lou Parker; her daughter, Carrie; and Pearl Brown.

On Christmas Eve in Jefferson County, Virginia, trouble arrives when Carrie reveals a disturbing secret that will haunt and change their lives forever. Mae Lou is fed up with Herman spending time with other women and she goes to confront him. Everybody wants a part of him, including Willie; however, the tables are slightly turned when Willie ends up with a gun pointing directly at him.

All of the stories converge when Herman is found dead from a shotgun wound. There are many people Herman has offended. And all three women are suspects in his murder. An investigation is launched. But no one really cares, including the police. Blackberry Days of Summer is a brilliantly crafted story of family secrets, complexity and the courage of forgiveness.

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Book review: Blackberry Days of Summer
Author: Ruth P. Watson
Reviewer: Minolta White
Carrie Parker's world is falling apart in front of her eyes and there's nothing she can do about it. Mae Lou Parker, her mother is an unaffectionate strong woman that desires the constant presence of a man around. Shortly after burying her husband Mae Lou finds comfort in the arms of city slicker and ladies man Herman Camm. Mae Lou may have Herman's heart but not if Pearl Brown has anything to do with it. Pearl Brown, an unhappily married thirty something lounge singer is madly in love with Herman whether he likes it or not. The author paints a vivid picture of 1919 from the LeDroit Park neighborhood near Howard University to Jefferson County, Virginia. In a time where black people are known as colored like to unwind along “The Colored Broadway.” The author allows each character to tell a story that eventually weaves all three major characters together seamlessly. Throughout the story I find myself rooting for Carrie, crying over Pearl's broken heart, and hoping Mae Lou realize the snake living inside Herman Camm. As the story unfolds we learn deep dark secrets about each woman that play a major role in their individual perspective on life and love. As a special bonus the writer clues us in on the title of the novel that’s beautifully woven into the tale. With authentic characters, well developed plot, vivid descriptions of history, and the talent for allowing the characters to breathe life into each word the author has created a timeless classic. Before the story ends I found myself unable to stop reading and wanting to share such a rare gem in literature today. Ruth Watson has not only cemented her name in literature but in the hearts of many. 

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You're missing out if you haven't read this book! The captivating stories of the past, coupled with the intriguing lives of people trying to find their place in a world of constant struggle make this book come to life for any reader! Absolutely wonderful!

Selected pages


Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Section 5
Section 6
Section 7
Section 8
Section 20
Section 21
Section 22
Section 23
Section 24
Section 25
Section 26
Section 27

Section 9
Section 10
Section 11
Section 12
Section 13
Section 14
Section 15
Section 16
Section 17
Section 18
Section 19
Section 28
Section 29
Section 30
Section 31
Section 32
Section 33
Section 34
Section 35
Section 36
Section 37

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About the author (2012)

Ruth P. Watson is the author of Blackberry Days of SummerAn Elderberry Fall, and Cranberry Winter. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband and son. She divides her time between being a business owner, writer, and educator. She has a master’s degree and is currently working on her next novel, Strawberry Spring, and a documentary. A musical stageplay, Blackberry Daze, is based on her debut novel.

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