"Lalita Tademy had always been intensely interested in her family's stories, especially ones about her great-grandmother Emily, a formidable figure who died with her life's savings hidden in her mattress. Probing deeper for her family's roots, Tademy soon found herself swept up in an obsessive two-year odyssey - and leaving her corporate career for the little Louisiana farming community of ... Cane River. It was here, on a medium-sized Creole plantation owned by a family named Derbanne, that author Lalita Tademy found her family's roots - and the stories of four astonishing women who battled vast injustices to create a legacy of hope and achievement. They were women whose lives began in slavery, who weathered the Civil War, and who grappled with the contradictions of emancipation through the turbulent early years of the twentieth century. Through it all, they fought to unite their family and forge success on their own terms." "Here amid small farmhouses and a tightly knit community of French-speaking slaves, free people of color, and whites, Tademy's great-great-great-great-grandmother Elisabeth would bear both a proud heritage and the yoke of slavery. Her youngest daughter, Suzette, would be the first to discover the promise - and heartbreak - of freedom. Suzette's strong-willed daughter Philomene would use determination born of tragedy to reunite her family and gain unheard-of economic independence. And Emily, Philomene's spirited daughter, would fight to secure her children's just due and preserve their future against dangerous odds."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Based on the author's own search of her family's past, Cane River is an epic novel based on the lives of four generations of African-American women. Beginning with Tademy's great-great-great-great-grandmother, Elisabeth, this is a saga that sweeps from the early days of slavery through the Civil War and into a pre-Civil Rights South--a unique and moving slice of America's past that will resonate with readers for years to come. Photos throughout.