Title: The Year of Jubilee by Cindy Morgan
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Genre: Historical (60s), Fiction
Length: 363 pages
Book Rating: A
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through LibraryThing
The Year of Jubilee is a lyrical coming-of-age novel set against the backdrop of the turbulent South in the early 1960s.
The Mockingbird family has always lived peacefully in Jubilee, Kentucky, despite the divisions that mark their small town. Until the tense summer of 1963, when their youngest child, Isaac, falls gravely ill. Middle sister Grace, nearly fourteen, is determined to do whatever it takes to save her little brother. With her father and mother away at the hospital, Grace is left under the loving but inexperienced eye of her aunt June, with little to do but wait and worry. Inspired by a young teacher’s mission for change, she begins to flirt with danger—and with a gifted boy named Golden, who just might be the key to saving Isaac’s life. Then the unthinkable happens, and the world as she knows it shifts in ways she never could have imagined. Grace must decide what she believes amid the swirling, conflicting voices even of those she loves the most.
From gifted songwriter Cindy Morgan comes this lyrical, tender tale of a girl standing at the threshold of adulthood, learning the depths of the human heart and the bonds of family that bend, break, and bind together over and over again.
The Year of Jubilee by Cindy Morgan is a thought-provoking novel with an undertone of sadness.
Written from thirteen-year-old Grace Mockingbird’s perspective, this moving story of life in small Kentucky town is incredibly engrossing. Grace is devastated by her younger brother and best friend Isaac’s illness. Her older sister Sissie is causing the family problems with her unexpected rebellion. While their parents are at the hospital with Isaac, their Aunt June stays with them and provides minimal yet loving supervision.
In the midst of their family’s turmoil, the civil rights movement comes to the forefront as the local Ku Klux Klan becomes more active. One of Grace’s teachers is instrumental in introducing Grace to her neighbors who just happen to Black. For the first time in her life, Grace finally finds unconditional friendship but will there be a price for and her family to pay?
With a subtle undercurrent of faith, The Year of Jubilee is a poignant novel that is beautifully written with relatable characters. Grace easily captures the reader’s heart. All of the characters are extremely well-drawn and vibrantly life-like. The small-town setting springs vividly to life as do its residents. The storyline is engaging and provides an intimate peek into the Mockingbird’s household and the tragedies they have experienced. Cindy Morgan brings this heartfelt novel to an uplifting, realistic conclusion.