For much of the Sixties, Joe Baker has wrestled with reconciling his own desire and ambition with loyalty and responsibility to his family. The oldest of six children, he has led his brothers and sisters with quiet charisma. But what happens when his instincts fail him?
When we first met Joe and his family, it was December 1960, and a rare white Christmas was blowing toward their farm in South Georgia. As the decade unfolded, they battled drought, fire and other hardships that threatened the family's livelihood.
In Book Three—the riveting conclusion to the Plowed Fields trilogy—the Bakers and their neighbors move from the tobacco field to the battlefield, from main street to city lights, from the church doors to the gates of Hell.
Tom Carter, Joe's best friend and his sister's fiancé, finds himself slogging through the muck and mud in Vietnam, while an old flame entices Joe to participate in an antiwar demonstration. The resulting firestorm consumes the community, their friends and the Bakers themselves.
As the tumultuous events of 1968 give way to the final year of the Sixties, Joe fulfills his dream of becoming a newspaper reporter and immerses himself in the South's last stand against school integration. The ensuing battle pits old adversaries like Lucas Bartholomew and Bobby Taylor, as long-simmering animosity unleashes the unthinkable and wields devastating consequences.
In Plowed Fields, author Jim Barber tells about ordinary people caught up in extraordinary circumstances, making good decisions and bad mistakes, pulling together and falling apart, and dealing life and death in the process. Ultimately, it is a brilliant Southern saga of reconciliation and redemption as Joe and his family rediscover the value of forgiveness and belonging.
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About the Author
Jim Barber grew up in South Georgia, helping his family raise hogs and working on his uncles’ tobacco farms while pursuing his dream to become a newspaper reporter. His first “public” job came at age sixteen, covering sports for his county newspaper, The Berrien Press. Jim spent the bulk of his newspaper career with United Press International’s Atlanta bureau before a short stint with the New York Daily News led him to transfer to the world of corporate journalism and a twenty-five-year career with Georgia Power and Southern Company, one of the nation’s largest utilities.
A state and national award winner for his writing, Jim previously co-edited three published books: Atlanta Women Speak, a collection of speeches from notable women such as Jane Fonda, Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin and author Pearl Cleage, as well as Journey of Faith and Art from our Hearts, both church histories.
While his work on the family farms is a distant memory, Jim does enjoy raising gardens in his backyard, especially tomatoes for his wife of nearly thirty-five years. Jim doesn’t eat tomatoes, but he does play a lot of tennis and works part-time as the administrator of his church. He and Becky live in Atlanta near Stone Mountain, which he climbs faithfully almost every day. They have three grown daughters, one son-in-law (soon to be two), and three grand dogs.
Visit the author’s website at www.jimbarber.me.