Review: 'Little Sacrifices' by Jamie Scott/Michele Gorman (2012)
How much would you risk to stand up for your beliefs?
When Duncan and Sarah Powell move with their daughter, May, to Savannah Georgia in 1947, they hope against hope that they’ll be welcomed. But they’re Yankees and worse, they’re civil rights advocates almost a decade too early.
At first May can pretend they’re the same as everyone else. It means keeping quiet when she knows she should speak up, but it’s worth the sacrifice to win friends. Unfortunately her parents are soon putting their beliefs into action. And when they wake to find that they’re the only family on the block with a Ku Klux Klan cross blazing on their front lawn, the time comes for them to finally decide between what’s easy and what’s right.
Time for another historical fiction read, and one by an author I'm actually already quite familiar with but not within this particular genre! Some of you might know Michele Gorman from chick lit novels such as 'Single in the City', 'Match Me If You Can' (click here to read my review) and 'The Curvy Girls Club' (click here to read my review). I've always really enjoyed Michele's novels, so when she contacted me about a novel she'd written under a different name, Jamie Scott, I was straight away intrigued and definitely up for trying it out. 'Little Sacrifices' has an interesting book description and is set in a time and place in history I don't know that much about, so I was curious to check it out and several weeks ago I finally had the chance to sit down with the novel!
Set in 1940s Savannah in Georgia, 'Little Sacrifices' tells the story of May Powell, who moves from the North to the South of the USA together with her parents, Sarah and Duncan. As a fifteen-year-old girl, May is not too keen to start over and hopes she will fit in with the other kids at her new school. Luckily, she quickly becomes friends with the boy next door, Jim, but it also doesn't take long for May to realise her family has some quite different beliefs when it comes to civil rights in comparison to most people in Savannah. In the beginning, May tries whatever she has to do to fit in, forgetting her principles and beliefs, but as she discovers what life can really be like in the South, she and her family are forced to choose between the easy road or the right way.
While it took me a bit of time to get into the story, I have to say I really enjoyed 'Little Sacrifices' and thought it was great to read another type of novel by author Michele Gorman, who I only know from her chick lit books. The story is told from the perspective of fifteen-year-old May who moves to Savannah with her parents; they turn out to have quite different beliefs to most other people in the city and we get to see how this influences May's life and those around her. I wasn't too familiar with the history of the Southern States, and it really fascinated me to learn more about it by reading this novel. I liked the fact that the story was written from May's perspective, and included some interesting and easy-to-like characters, such as May's old and new friends and their maid Dora Mae, whom I really would have loved to read more about.
The book deals with quite a serious topic and Michele Gorman dealt with it in a fascinating and respectful way, looking at both sides of the story. I also liked that there was a second storyline, mainly consisting of flashbacks to the life of the previous owner of the house May and her family move into. This really added something extra to the book which I enjoyed. I also have to agree with many other reviewers and quickly mention the epilogue, which was a satisfying and well-written end to this story. Once again a very convincing and enjoyable read by author Michele Gorman, who has definitely proven she can do more than chick lit. 'Little Sacrifices' is a gripping and fascinating historical fiction read that held my attention from start to finish; a great read certainly worth picking up if you like the sound of it!