The Cutting Season: A Novel by Attica LockeThe Cutting Season: A Novel by Attica Locke

The Cutting Season: A Novel

byAttica Locke

Paperback | September 17, 2013

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From Attica Locke, a writer and producer of FOX’s Empire:

The Cutting Season is a rare murder mystery with heft, a historical novel that thrills, a page-turner that makes you think. Attica Locke is a dazzling writer with a conscience.”—Dolen Perkins-Valdez, New York Times bestselling author of Wench

After her breathtaking debut novel, Black Water Rising, won acclaim from major publications and respected crime fiction masters like James Ellroy and George Pelecanos, Locke returns with The Cutting Season, a second novel easily as gripping and powerful as her first—a heart-pounding thriller that interweaves two murder mysteries, one on Belle Vie, a historic landmark in the middle of Lousiana’s Sugar Cane country, and one involving a slave gone missing more than one hundred years earlier. Black Water Rising was nominated for a Los Angeles Times Book Prize, an Edgar® Award, and an NAACP Image Award, and was short-listed for the Orange Prize in the U.K.

Attica Locke is the author ofBlack Water Rising, which was nominated for a 2010 Edgar Award, an NAACP Image Award, and a Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and was shortlisted for the UK's Orange Prize; and the national bestsellerThe Cutting Season, which won the 2013 Ernest Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. She is a coproducer and writ...
Title:The Cutting Season: A NovelFormat:PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.86 inPublished:September 17, 2013Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0061802069

ISBN - 13:9780061802065


Rated 5 out of 5 by from I had to re-read this book The Cutting Season is set on Belle Vie Estate, formally part of a larger sugar cane plantation located in rural Louisiana. It is now a tourist attraction and event facility. After a life crisis, Caren Gray and her young daughter return there and she finds work as the estate manager (sort of a present day overseer.). When the body of a migrant worker is found on the grounds, it disrupts daily life and re-opens old wounds. Caren can no longer ignore the unsolved death of Jason, her several times great grandfather. The first time I read this book, I really felt the injustice of slavery in the United States. My thoughts on this overwhelmed the real story. I let time pass till I felt ready to read it again. The second time, I listened to the audio book ready by Quincy Tyler Bernstine. Listening again, I was free to get involved in the current story and in Caren's struggles. Even when she left the plantation for law school, she was never free of the strings that tied her to Belle Vie. Until she resolves Jason's death and the secrets long shrouding the truth , she won't be able to move on with her life. There is so much happening in this novel, that it is well worth reading more than once. The vivid descriptions of the plantation grounds had me wanting to stroll through them on an early morning walk with Caren. I could feel her envy of the closeness of the rest of the staff. Regardless of their skin colour or background, they had formed a family in which Caren was not included even though she had grown up there. I enjoyed this book more the second time and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to others, particularly those interested in American history.
Date published: 2015-09-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The first title for Dennis Lehane's new imprint - a great choice! I have a mental list of authors that I faithfully follow and I pick up everything they write. I know what I like and I have a good idea of what I'll be reading. But on the other side of that coin - picking up a book by an unfamiliar author is an adventure. The Cutting Season is Attica Locke's second book. I missed her debut novel - Black Water Rising - it won numerous prize nominations and lots of praise. But, after reading The Cutting Season, I can see why. Attica Locke is good -really good. Caren Gray and her young daughter have returned home to Belle Vie - the Louisiana plantation Caren was raised on. Her family history with Belle Vie stretches back to the days when her ancestors were slaves in the sugar cane fields. Now the plantation is a tourist attraction and Caren is the manager. It's not the path she wanted to pursue in life and she has mixed feelings about returning to the plantation. When an migrant worker is found murdered on the grounds, old and new wounds are opened - long buried history and new controversy. And Caren puts herself in the middle.... Locke drew me in immediately. I was of course caught up in the present day whodunit. There are lots of suspects and the path to the answer is winding. But, at the same time, Caren is caught up in the disappearance of her ancestor Jason, one hundred years ago. Locke skillfully weaves the unravelling of both narratives together. The mysteries are intriguing, but I enjoyed Locke's exploration of race, politics, business, history and yes, love, just as much. The juxtaposition of abolished slavery and the plight of migrant workers today provides much food for thought. The character of Caren came across as 'real'. Her own uncertainties, her relationship with her daughter, her ex and her coworkers all rang true. All of the supporting characters were just as well drawn. Having worked as a historical interpreter I enjoyed the descriptions of the cast and their dialogue. Locke's prose are wonderfully rich and atmospheric and brought her settings to life. "That beneath its loamy topsoil, the manicured grounds and gardens, two centuries of breathtaking wealth and spectacle—a stark beauty both irrepressible and utterly incapable of even the smallest nod of contrition—lay a land both black and bitter, soft to the touch, and pressing in its power. She should have known that one day it would spit out what it no longer had use for, the secrets it would no longer keep.” For this reader, a winner on all fronts. (And I'll be hunting down that first book!) Locke has been added to my 'list'. Dennis Lehane has picked The Cutting Season as the first book for his new imprint for Harper Collins. "I was first struck by Attica Locke's prose, then by the ingenuity of her narrative and finally and most deeply by the depth of her humanity. She writes with equal amounts grace and passion. After just two novels, I'd probably read the phone book if her name was on the spine."
Date published: 2012-09-18

Editorial Reviews

The Cutting Season is a novel about the shifting definitions of family, the persistent pull of history, the sterling promise of home, and the stunning power of love. It pulled me in and held me close to the very last page.”