Little Sacrifices by Jamie Scott is a coming-of-age story set in the late 1940’s in the deep south. Amidst racial turmoil, May Powell must find her way in the world while living in a segregated world. For those who don’t know, Jamie Scott is Michele Gorman’s pen name… but this isn’t Michele’s normal rom-comedy book. It is a powerful, and at times heart-wrenching, book about the struggle of growing up in the deep south with racial tension all around.
I will warn you, however, this book contains some verbiage and wording that was common in the deep south during this time frame. If this will offend you, this is not the book for you. That being said, however, this is one of the best books I have read that was based in that time period! It gives you a wide-eyed look at what life was like growing up as a white girl in Georgia during the 1940’s.
Duncan and Sarah Powell, May’s parents, move to Georgia in 1947 they hope they will be accepted as a new family in the neighborhood. Except they are Yankees. And Civil Rights advocates. May attempts to fit in by hiding her true beliefs and not speaking up when she knows she should – but when the Ku Klux Klan starts burning crosses in their front yard, there is no way to hide their beliefs from the neighbors anymore. Soon after May moves in, she befriends another outsider, Jim, that lives on her street. The two of them struggle to survive the hate and racial tensions, while Jim teaches her how things are when you live in the South.
The point comes, in everyone’s life, when one has to determine if it is better to blend in or stand up for what is right – May and her family had to make that difficult decision in Savannah, Georgia.
Not to spoil the plot or anything that happens, but this book does result in a happier ending than you would imagine – one that I truly was not expecting. I loved following May and seeing how she dealt and experienced racial-fueled situations, as well as situations that teens sometimes find themselves in. I have always been a fan of Michele Gorman since reading The Curvy Girls Club, but she truly stepped outside the rom-com box and hit a home run with this one.
If you check out Amazon’s website, there is an interesting anecdote about how Michele had to call the Ku Klux Klan to get information for her book!
Definitely, this is a must read. The story is amazing and the characters are robust, while at the same time giving you a glimpse into what like must have been like growing up during that time period.
Check out Little Sacrifices on Amazon!
And, Michele wanted me to let you know… if you head over to the Amazon webpage and choose the “Look Inside” option, you can download one of her rom-coms, Single in the City for free!
This book is a gentle, but powerful reminder, that one day you will have to make the decision between standing up for what is right or joining the masses in a life-altering situation.