Monday, March 12, 2012

Yellow Crocus

Title: Yellow Crocus
Publisher: Flaming Chalice Press
Pub Date: December 17, 2010
Author: Laila Ibrahim
Received From: NetGalley

Yellow Crocus

Mattie was never truly mine. That knowledge must have filled me as
quickly and surely as the milk from her breasts. Although my family
‘owned' her, although she occupied the center of my universe, her
deepest affections lay elsewhere. So along with the comfort of her
came the fear that I would lose her some day. This is our story...

So begins Lisbeth Wainwright's compelling tale of coming-of-age in
antebellum Virginia. Born to white plantation owners but raised by her
enslaved black wet nurse, Mattie, Lisbeth's childhood unfolds on the
line between two very different worlds. Growing up under the watchful
eye of Mattie, the child adopts her surrogate mother'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. Yet
Lisbeth has freedoms and opportunities that Mattie does not have,
though the color of the girl's skin cannot protect her from the
societal expectations placed on women born to privilege. As Lisbeth
grows up, she struggles to reconcile her love for her caregiver with
her parent's expectations, a task made all the more difficult as she
becomes increasingly aware of the ugly realities of the American
slavery system. When the inequality of her two worlds comes to a head
during an act of shocking brutality, Lisbeth realizes she must make a
choice, one that will require every ounce of the courage she learned
from her beloved Mattie. This compelling historical novel is a richly
evocative tale of love and redemption set during one of the darkest
chapters of American history.

The Yellow Crocus opened my heart in a way that few books ever have! I was instantly intrigued by the life of Mattie, a slave in the south, who was to be a wet nurse for the babies in the promenant Wainwright family. From the moment young Elizabeth, called Lisbeth by her wet nurse, was born these two developed an unbreakable bond. A bond that you will see withstand some tough tests and really bring the beginning and the end together so nicely in this book. 

I was instantly a fan of Lisbeth, from her early days of being tied to wanting Mattie, to her kindness and love shown to those enslaved. To the way she carried herself with grace, while trying to uphold the things she must as a young woman in her family and also stand her very own ground for the beliefs that she had. I am sure there was a slight cheer coming from my mouth with some of the decisions that she made. I felt proud of her and pleased that this book really brought out a tough subject with a ray of sunshine! 

Kudos to Laila Ibrahim for writing such a great  book!Photobucket


  1. Hello,

    Thank you for taking the time to read and review Yellow Crocus. I am so pleased that you enjoyed it. Writing it was a labor of love for me. I am always heartened to read that I did justice to Mattie and Lisbeth’s story.

    I appreciate you telling your readers about Yellow Crocus. Thanks for what you do to promote books and reading.

    Best wishes,


    Laila Ibrahim

  2. This sounds like a really interesting book. I'll have to check it out!