The Cutting Season: A Novel

( 40 )

Overview

Caren Gray manages Louisiana's stately Belle Vie, an antebellum plantation-turned-tourist attraction where the past and the present coexist uneasily. Outside the gates, an ambitious corporation snaps up sugarcane fields from struggling families, replacing local employees with illegal laborers. Tensions mount when a female migrant worker is found in a shallow grave on the edge of the plantation property, her throat cut clean through.

As the sheriff's department zeroes in on a ...

See more details below
Paperback
$13.02
BN.com price
(Save 18%)$15.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (38) from $1.99   
  • New (15) from $2.99   
  • Used (23) from $1.99   
The Cutting Season

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$11.49
BN.com price

Overview

Caren Gray manages Louisiana's stately Belle Vie, an antebellum plantation-turned-tourist attraction where the past and the present coexist uneasily. Outside the gates, an ambitious corporation snaps up sugarcane fields from struggling families, replacing local employees with illegal laborers. Tensions mount when a female migrant worker is found in a shallow grave on the edge of the plantation property, her throat cut clean through.

As the sheriff's department zeroes in on a suspect, Caren suspects the police are chasing the wrong leads. Putting herself at risk, she unearths startling secrets about the long-ago disappearance of a former slave that has unsettling ties to the current murder—secrets that a desperate killer will stop at nothing to keep buried.

Taut, hauntingly resonant, and beautifully written, The Cutting Season is a thoughtful meditation on how America reckons its past with its future.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Dennis Lehane
“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. . . . I’d probably read the phone book if her name was on the spine.”
Dolen Perkins-Valdez
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.”
Tayari Jones
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.”
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“One of the most engaging and gifted new voices in the genre. . . . The Cutting Season does more than exhume a body—it rattles the bones of slavery, race, class, and power to examine a crime that reverberates from more than a century ago.”
New York Times
“The impressively astute Attica Locke writes . . . in much the same way that Mr. Lehane [does]. . . . Each is willing to use the murder mystery as a framework for much more ambitious, atmospheric fiction.”
Los Angeles Times
“Compelling. . . . A mystery that expands the whole idea of the mystery, reaching from the present deeply into the past. . . . Great writing, the kind that gives you goose bumps.”
Financial Times
“Although The Cutting Season succeeds as a thriller, above all it is a well-crafted warning about the damage wrought—generational, social, romantic—when the past is distorted or denied.”
Minneapolis Star Tribune
“A thoughtful, well-written and absorbing read with a surprising ending.”
USA Today
“Dripping with southern Gothic atmosphere. . . . Equal parts murder mystery and family drama, the novel also draws readers in through its considerations of African-American history and life in post-Katrina Louisiana.”
Publishers Weekly
Locke follows her debut, Black Water Rising, with a convoluted tale about the Louisiana antebellum plantation Belle Vie and two multigenerational families that have occupied it for more than a century. Caren Gray, whose great-great-great grandfather was a slave, manages the entire staff for Belle Vie, which caters weddings and parties and stages shows about plantation life in the old days. The Clancys trace their lineage back to William Tynan, who acquired the plantation after the Civil War. Patriarch Leland Clancy’s wife restored the mansion now run by her son Raymond. The discovery of the body of a cane field worker from the adjacent farm on Belle Vie property triggers a chain of events that embroils Caren, her nine-year-old daughter, the Clancys, and others in an investigation that finds its antecedents in the two families’ entwined histories. The murder and its solution take second place as Locke charts the South’s troubled progress since slavery through a surfeit of subplots. Agent: Richard Abate, 3 Arts Entertainment. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Caren Gray faces down the ugly history of slavery daily—she manages the Belle Vie plantation for its owners, the Clancy family. For generations, her family worked for the Clancys, and she and her nine-year-old daughter found refuge here after Hurricane Katrina. Caren's routine of coordinating school tours, weddings, and banquets is interrupted by the grisly discovery of a migrant worker's body on the property. The police zero in on a suspect, but Caren is unconvinced they have their man. Her investigation unearths more than she bargained for—and she realizes how widespread the repercussions of slavery still ripple. VERDICT Locke's second novel (after 2009's Black Water Rising) is a layered, nuanced mystery with a social conscience. Weaving legal, social, historical, and economic elements into the story of a changing family, it's a good choice for readers who enjoy multifaceted mysteries with a strong female protagonist and that blur genre distinctions. [See Prepub Alert, 4/23/12; author Dennis Lehane picked this title as his first selection for his eponymous imprint at HarperCollins.—Ed.]—Amy Brozio-Andrews, Albany P.L., NY
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061802065
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/17/2013
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 146,829
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Attica Locke

Attica Locke is the author of the widely acclaimed debut novel Black Water Rising, which was nominated for a Los Angeles Times Book Prize, an Edgar Award, and an NAACP Image Award, and was shortlisted for the UK's Orange Prize. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 40 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(11)

3 Star

(9)

2 Star

(8)

1 Star

(4)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 40 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 18, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I have a mental list of authors that I faithfully follow and I p

    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

    28 out of 32 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2012

    Perfect Atmosphere

    The South and the complicated emotions those words connate come alive in this engrossing tale whose characters and way of life come to true life. This tales not hard to belive and neither is Bel Vie.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 7, 2012

    Oh how I love the South; the plantations, the people, the myster

    Oh how I love the South; the plantations, the people, the mystery, the landscape, the politics and the history. The Cutting Season has all of those things and more. This novel has a two -for-one mystery that keeps you so intrigued that you don't want to put it down.

    The characters are real and I loved how the author explored their emotions, personal demons, love for one another, their home and their sense of belonging. I found it very interesting how Ms. Locke compared some of the struggles of yesterday's slaves to today's migrant workers, and society's ignorance in treating them as though they were/are less the human. In one word - Shameless!

    Great story and I look forward to reading Ms. Locke's other work.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 27, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I loved the setting: a restored plantation in Louisiana and the

    I loved the setting: a restored plantation in Louisiana and the bits of real history woven into the story. The characters, especially Caren & her daughter, are not well developed. I think that each book by this author will get better, with time and experience.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2012

    Loved it!

    I bought this after seeing it in a list of recommended books for Christmas gifts. I am so glad I did. Caren, Mogan and the rest of the characters will draw you into the world of Belle Vie and the mysteries hidden there. Will definitely look forward to future books by the author.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 30, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    It was okayyy...

    This book is okay. It has a really good plot.. But it just seems like a murder mystery where you keep looking and looking and looking... Typical.. Slightly boring.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2012

    Holds your attention

    Really enjoyed this book. Good ending

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2013

    Loved the book. Looking forward to more by this author.

    Loved the book. Looking forward to more by this author.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2013

    Just Okay

    This story is part mystery part a historical novel; however never achieving either, always wishy washy in-between. The story kept me interested, so I guess it is okay. However, the characters are flat, the story line offers little surprises , and the end is a little strange.

    This book was recommended to me by someone who grew up around plantations. She love to revel in the memory. However, if you want to read a good book about plantations I would recommend 'The kitchen house'.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2013

    Great Read

    This book is filled with great characters and a interesting mystery.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2013

    slow read for one who likes drama

    I like drama.. at first it started out slow, but eventually it picked up. don't really care to much for how it finish..

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2013

    Good read

    Good read. I enjoyed the setting of the story especially after seeing the movie Lincoln. It is a mystery but somewhat a historical novel too. Just different setting for a change of pace.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2012

    Great book!

    Loved it.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2014

    Cutting Season needs cut.

    This book will put you to sleep many times before you complete it. It has about 25% of the text that is useless drivel that contributes nothing to the story. Slow and boring from start to finish. I did finish reading all of it, but it was painful, and oh so boring.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 23, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Generations of Caren¿s family have lived on Belle Vie.  From sla

    Generations of Caren’s family have lived on Belle Vie.  From slaves to running the plantation as a historical reenactment site.  With a recent murder that her daughter has a connection to, Caren has more to deal with than ever.




    For a book that is labeled mystery I found a lot of it was predictable but sometimes addicting to read.   I say addicting because although I figured out who was working with the murderer I didn’t figure that Caren would keep so much from the police. The writing was okay I am not sure why but I could tell this was a newer author.   It was interesting that the love interest part did not overwhelm the story, like some mystery books do.  

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 19, 2013

    Caren has reluctantly returned home for a job and is taken back

    Caren has reluctantly returned home for a job and is taken back in time to discover hidden secrets about her family's past.  What she does with this information is very interesting!

    A working single mom, Caren was a fantastic character who was struggling with being a boss, but also a hometown girl.  I loved her inner battle with herself and finding her place.  With some mystery and intrigue this book had a great creepy factor that kept me turning and turning the pages!  I wanted to know who the killer was and why they committed the crime and I was quite satisfied with the outcome!  (no spoilers here!!)

    A fantastic piece of southern fiction that takes you back in time, but through the eyes of current people.  The twists and turns were timed perfectly and I would dare anyone to be able to put this book down at any point!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 12, 2013

    This was bad and I couldn't wait to be finished.

    This was bad and I couldn't wait to be finished.

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2014

    Definitely worth it

    Great book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 40 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)