Cane River by Lalita TademyCane River by Lalita Tademy

Cane River

byLalita Tademy

Paperback | April 1, 2002

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A New York Times bestseller and Oprah's Book Club Pick-the unique and deeply moving saga of four generations of African-American women whose journey from slavery to freedom begins on a Creole plantation in Louisiana.

Beginning with her great-great-great-great grandmother, a slave owned by a Creole family, Lalita Tademy chronicles four generations of strong, determined black women as they battle injustice to unite their family and forge success on their own terms. They are women whose lives begin in slavery, who weather the Civil War, and who grapple with contradictions of emancipation, Jim Crow, and the pre-Civil Rights South. As she peels back layers of racial and cultural attitudes, Tademy paints a remarkable picture of rural Louisiana and the resilient spirit of one unforgettable family.

There is Elisabeth, who bears both a proud legacy and the yoke of bondage... her youngest daughter, Suzette, who is the first to discover the promise-and heartbreak-of freedom... Suzette's strong-willed daughter Philomene, who uses a determination born of tragedy to reunite her family and gain unheard-of economic independence... and Emily, Philomene's spirited daughter, who fights to secure her children's just due and preserve their dignity and future.

Meticulously researched and beautifully written, Cane River presents a slice of American history never before seen in such piercing and personal detail.

Lalita Tademy lives in Menlo Park, California.
Title:Cane RiverFormat:PaperbackDimensions:560 pages, 8.1 × 5.25 × 1.5 inPublished:April 1, 2002Publisher:Grand Central PublishingLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0446678457

ISBN - 13:9780446678452

Appropriate for ages: 13 - 13


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Riveting Family Saga Grand Central Publishing | April 1, 2002 | Trade Paperback | ISBN 0-446-67845-7 Story Description: Lalita Tademy was a successful corporate vice president at a Fortune 500 company when she decided to embark upon what would become an obsessive odyssey to uncover her family's past. Through exhaustive research, interviews, and the help of professional genealogists, she would find herself transported back to the early 1800s, to an isolated, close-knit rural community on Louisiana’s Cane River. Here, Tademy takes historical fact and mingles it with fiction to weave a vivid and dramatic account of what life was like for the four remarkable women who came before her. Beginning with Tademy’s great-great-great-great grandmother Elisabeth, this is a family saga that sweeps from the early days of slavery through the Civil War into a pre-Civil Rights South’s unique and moving slice of Americas past that will resonate with readers for generations to come. Well-researched and powerfully written, Cane River is just the kind of family portrait that will appeal to the same diverse audience as Alex Haley’s bestselling phenomenon Roots (Dell Books, reissue 1980) and the New York Times bestseller Sally Heming’s (Buccaneer Books, 1992), which sold over one million hardcover copies and inspired the feature film Jefferson in Paris, starring Nick Nolte and Thandie Newton. My Review: CANE RIVER covers 137 years of Lalita Tademy’s family’s history, written as fiction, but deeply rooted in years of research historical fact, and family lore. It is a family saga that covers four generations of women born into slavery and searching for freedom. Every time I read a story like this I am utterly outraged at the treatment that these people endured. The story is set on Rosedew Plantation on the Cane River in Louisiana. The book traces the lives of four women: Elizabeth and her daughter Suzette; Suzette’s daughter, Philomene; and Philomene’s daughter, Emily. All four of these women had their children by white plantation owners, sometimes by choice, other times by force. However, each woman grew stronger through their experiences. The one that seemed to resonate the most with me was, Philomene. Philomene, at age 17 had lost her two baby daughters to yellow fever and her husband, Clement, had been sold to another plantation owner in Virginia far from Cane River. Her mother, Suzette, had also been sent to another plantation. Philomene loved Clement, they had a beautiful wedding and two beautiful girls together. Philomene had stopped talking, stopped singing, and even stopped humming. Everything that was dear to her had died or been taken away. How sad that at the young age of 17 so much pain was a daily part of this girls life. She herself said that she felt: “…used up”. Her days were drab and hard, and her nights were full to bursting with the silent grief that her isolation nourished. Loneliness had become an ugly, open sore that festered instead of healing over. She drifted on the edge of nothingness from day to day. Her deep grief was all consuming and she missed Clement so much, they went together like bread and butter and without him, a part of herself was missing. She was barren and empty, pretending to be human, imitating the things she had done before, long ago. Each morning when she awoke she was surprised that she hadn’t died of aloneness in the night before. For Philomene, this was the face of slavery. To have nothing, and still have something more to lose. CANE RIVER was a riveting read and one I will surely tell friends about.
Date published: 2012-04-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My favorite book. This book is amazing!!! Well written, intriging and inspiring. This is and has been my favorite book for years. I love how the author has tied in generations of women in the family and keeps you up to date throughout the book of the previous generations. A must read.
Date published: 2010-01-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This was great ! This book was simply great !!! I could not put it down - you never knew what would happen next to this family. The only reason I bought this book was because of the Oprah seal on it but it really is a good book. It is bassed on a true families history . . . . I would definetly recomend this book to anyone !!!!!
Date published: 2006-09-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An Inspiration Lalita's book is an inspirtation to learn more about your own family history. I haven't read such a riveting account of one's ancestors since Alex Haley's, Roots.
Date published: 2006-08-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Everyone must read this book! This is the best book I have ever read. I could not put it down and when it was finished I still wanted to find out what the characters were doing.
Date published: 2006-06-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fascinating geneaology I could not put this book down. Lalita Tademy's research into her own background and the incredible stories she weaved together about her ancestors was fascinating. If you like historical fiction based on fact, then this is the book for you. My only complaint is that the author seemed in a hurry to finish the book so the last section lacks some of the intricate detail of the previous sections. But overall, I'd recommend it.
Date published: 2006-05-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Gem I found this in the discount section of Chapters and couldn't put it down from the moment I picked it up. Have been passing it around, and everyone has truly enjoyed it.
Date published: 2005-06-06

Editorial Reviews

"A long-overdue response to Alex Haley's Roots."-San Francisco Chronicle