The Sweet Everlasting: A Novel
Sharecropper's son, mill worker, and ex-convict, Ellis Burt surely knows adversity. For a brief and cherished time there was a woman, and then a child, who had been a kind of salvation to him. Then they were gone, leaving Ellis to carry on with the burden of what he had done to them - the ruin he brought down upon them all.
In The Sweet Everlasting, Ellis is seventy-four. Moving back and forth over a lifetime of memories, he recalls his Depression-era boyhood, the black family who worked the neighboring farm, his time in prison, and the subsequent years adrift - working jobs no one else would take and longing for a chance to rejoin what is left of his family. Ever in the background are the memories of his wife, Susan, and their boy, W. D., and how Ellis drew on her strength and his innocence to resist everything that threatened to harden him: the shame that others would have him feel, the poverty he had known, and the distorted honor and pride he witnessed in others and knew was inside him as well.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - HankIII - LibraryThing
Two things I like about this book as I am still mulling it over:one, its prose is clear and easy; disarmingly so, because what Ellis Burt, at 74, reveals as he reflects on a life of pain and joy isn't ... Read full review
THE SWEET EVERLASTINGUser Review - Jane Doe - Kirkus
An unsparing exploration of a modest, tragic life, in a debut of considerable power. Mitcham's various talents (he is a poet as well as the chair of the psychology department at Georgia's Fort Valley ... Read full review