LOOK AWAY, BEULAH LAND by Lonnie Coleman
Kirkus Star


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This lazing approximation of Southern speech and ways of the days during and just after the War Between the States tends to airbrush out complexities of character and stringencies of emotion, but it works a certain slumberous charm in spite of some hideous events; readers of Beulah Land (1973) may wish to continue following the fortunes of elaborately intertwined families and their dependents. Sarah is acknowledged mistress of Beulah Land, and, in spite of murders, the despoilation of the plantation, the suicide of her daughter, and the comings and goings of that much married and amoured sister Laurette, she remains tough, resilient, and eminently sensible. One exception: her wild grief at the revenge slaying of her Negro overseer Floyd, one of the atrocities indirectly wrought by wealthy, Yankee-collaborating Negro Junior Elk, who believes his father was wronged by Beulah Land. But Junior's son Roscoe will attempt to set things straight and there'll be other good people, including a young Yankee deserter, who will be swept up in the intricately quilted lives of Sarah's clan. Untangling kin and kith may take some pondering, but Coleman's readers will happily settle for a long lie back with a satisfyingly busy tale buffed to soft pastels by veranda-easy talk.

Pub Date: Sept. 9th, 1977
Publisher: Doubleday