Midnight Without a Moon

Once in awhile, a book takes you to an exact time and exact place such that you feel that you are living with the characters and experiencing things in real time, even though the events happened well in the past. Linda Jackson’s Midnight Without a Moon is such a book.

Set in Jackson’s home state of Mississippi, Midnight follows a young girl named Rose Lee Carter as she lives life among Jim Crow laws, segregation, and racism. Near the beginning of the book, Rose’s mom leaves to pursue a new life with a new beau. Feeling abandoned, Rose must learn to live with her strict (some might say abusive) grandmother. The book winds through Rose’s life as she navigates the cotton fields and extreme heat of the deep South and ultimately leads us to the lynching and slaughter of a black boy accused of whistling at a white woman. In between, the reader learns just how horrific life really was for people in Rose’s situation. But Rose is a true survivor! Through all of this, she does not lose hope of a better life.

This book is recommended for anyone wishing to learn more about how life really was in our not-so-distant past.

— Patti Smith, author and teacher

Featured in November 2017 newsletter