A Peach For Big Jim
A Peach for Big Jim is a tale about a girl who pursues a forbidden love. The protagonist, Chloe, dares to befriend a black man at a time when many people are still openly racist in the South. Their friendship begins when Jim saves Chloe’s life on a chance meeting by the river. Out of gratitude, Chloe befriends Jim and starts to teach him how to read. This is a great risk because Jim is well known and much hated by Chloe’s father and brother. How long can their secret meetings remain undiscovered?
This is a riveting tale with many twists and turns. Chloe starts teaching Jim out of gratitude but soon discovers a deep connection between them that compels her to protect him. Many would have her believe that Jim is dull and unable to learn, but she has no trouble teaching him. Their meetings are a joy to them both.
Not long after, Jim’s mother finds out that Chloe is teaching Jim. She is on their side but also wary of her son’s safety. There is a popular tale in town about a girl who tried to run away with a black boy; their story was tragic, and she thinks Jim and Chloe will suffer a similar fate. It turns out that Chloe and Jim aren’t the only ones keeping a secret. Someone else harbors a dangerous secret for which he would be willing to kill. In a town like Mills Hollow, Jim would be the obvious scapegoat for a murder. His race and physique set him apart. Theirs is a dangerous friendship, but they remain true to each other and to their principles.
I rate this book highly. The story was rich and its twists and turns were pleasant and unexpected. I also gained some insight into how Jim Crow laws impacted black people’s lives. I recommend it to anyone who loves historical fiction and thriller genres. The story might be about a girl and a boy, but don’t expect a fiery romance. A Peach for Big Jim is suitable for adults and young adults, too.
The build-up to the climax of the story is intriguing and full of suspense. Tolerance will fail the town’s people, friendships will be betrayed, secrets will be exposed, and a murder and a cover-up will ensue. I loved every moment of the story, and I couldn’t have hoped for a better ending.
After editing at City Book Review for a few years, I took up the duties of editorial assistant, which include assigning books for review, posting reviews to our various sites, and nagging reviewers for things. In my non-nagging time, I’m a gamer, artist, writer, and notorious black thumb/bane of plants. My answer to every book-related question: read Octavia Butler.
|Page Count||318 pages|
|Publisher||King's House Press|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|