Red Clay and Roses

Red Clay and Roses

by S. K. Nicholls

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A fictionalized true story of life in the Deep South during the time of Jim Crow Law, and before Roe vs. Wade. Women were supposed to keep quiet and serve, abortion was illegal, adoption difficult, and racism rampant. The discovery of an old ledger opens a window into the dynamics of the 1950s-60s, when the world was beginning to change. Unspoken secrets are shared between Beatrice, The Good Doctor’s wife, and Moses Grier, their black handyman. The Grier’s daughter, Althea, suffers a tragedy that leaves her family silent and mournful. Her brother, Nathan, looks for answers from a community that is deaf, blind, and dumb. A summer romance between Nathan and Sybil, an independent, high-spirited, white woman, leaves more unresolved. Sybil is torn between living the mundane life of her peers, or a life that involves fastening herself to a taboo relationship. Witness social progress through the eyes of those who lived it.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940044412095
Publisher: Elderberry Press
Publication date: 03/20/2013
Sold by: Smashwords
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 387 KB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Susan Koone Nicholls is an R.N. who lives in Orlando, Florida, with her husband, Greg. She was born, raised and educated in Georgia, where she also raised her family. She has three children, a step-son, and two grandchildren. Orphaned from her mother at an early age, she spent time in foster care and in a children’s group home in the North Georgia Mountains, The Ethyl Harpst Home.

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Red Clay and Roses 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
ReadersFavorite4 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite Red Clay and Roses by S.K. Nicholls is a story set in the Deep South during the era of the Jim Crow Law. Times were difficult then. Abortion was illegal, racism prevailed, adoption was not easy, and rapes and murders were common. Nathan falls in love with Sybil one summer. There are many secrets shared between Beatrice, the good doctor's wife, and Moses Grier, their black handyman. When Althea, Grier's daughter, suffers a personal tragedy the community gives her and the family no support. The story is based on real people and true events. The book revolves around four major characters: Nathan, Sybil, Moses and Althea. It is a story that speaks about the history of race and women's rights in the South in the 1950s and '60s. It is a historical fiction where the author has blended fact and fiction together very well to write a compelling story. The story takes you back in time to a society when so much hatred and fear prevailed. The author has done the research very well, evident from the precision of details and description of events in the book. The cultural angle and the historical facts make the book an engaging read. The author has given a lot of care and importance in developing the characters and the story. All the characters are strong and portrayed well. It is a thought provoking story. The narration is detailed and it enhances the visual aspect of the story. It is a perfect blend of culture and history. A very compelling story based on facts and events.
ReadersFavorite3 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite When Hannah found an old ledger stuck between two walls in her relatives’ old house, it was an important discovery that depicts life back in the 1950s-60s. Simply titled The Good Doctor, the ledger leads to the story of several individuals: Beatrice Handley, wife of Dr. David Handley, a town chiropractor, as well as Moses Grier, their black handyman and his daughter, Althea. There is also the taboo relationship between Nathan, Moses’s son, with Sybil, a white woman. Red Clay and Roses by author S.K. Nicholls is based on the true story of racism and lack of women's rights in the Deep South of US in the early part of that era. Sometimes historical fiction can be a challenge to read for me. In this case, it is not. Red Clay and Roses is a novel of dualities and communal conflict echoed in the tense era where mandatory segregation of white and black ruled. Reading it broadens one’s appreciation of all the characters’ resilience and triumphs. Nicholls’ clear portrayal of the Deep South’s early 20th century past is as fascinating and full-blooded as the story itself. On the other hand, I do have my favorite, which is the taboo relationship between Nathan and Sybil. In the end, it makes me think hard about our present society; how far have we come in terms of accepting the diversity of race? Certainly some things have changed for the better, but undeniably others would not change so easily. S.K. Nicholls has my praise for her laudable work.
ReadersFavorite2 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Maria Beltran for Readers' Favorite Hannah Hamilton was born in Georgia, in November, 1960. She is the narrator in the novel, Red Clay and Roses, by S.K. Nicholls. It is now 2012 and Hannah, a nurse, is happily married and is feeling somehow detached from her past. When her 74-year-old father is scheduled for a double coronary bypass graft, she is summoned by the family to attend to him. As she makes the trip from Florida to her hometown in Georgia, a dam breaks and her memories of a time long gone will come back to her. A visit to her dad’s first cousin, Sybil, who is over 74 years old, and a ledger, will also open the door to the story of the good doctor and his wife Bea, and the black couple Moses and Eula, who worked for them, and their children, Nathan and Eula. As it turns out, Sybil and Nathan, who are white and black, respectively, share a tumultuous past that will be revealed at the end of the story.     Red Clay and Roses is a novel about the people who lived deep in America’s South, at a time when women were considered second class citizens and racism was prevalent. This is also the age when abortion was a criminal act and adoption a rarity. At the present time, when mixed marriage is normal, and women have the choice to have a baby or not in most of the Western world, these stories remind us why society and the law have to provide everyone with rights and privileges, without looking at race or any other circumstances. Nathan and Althea’s dreams end up in misery and tragedy because of society’s bias and bigotry, and this should not be allowed to happen to anyone. S.K. Nicholls’ story tries to examine this era through this fictional account of true stories in a style that is unique and original. Wittingly or unwittingly, she is giving a voice to everyone who suffered or continues to suffer because of society’s narrow-mindedness.
ReadersFavorite1 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Kelly Santana for Readers' Favorite Red Clay and Roses by S.K. Nicholls is a beautiful Southern story. Hannah Hamilton is a Registered Nurse and lives with her family in Orlando. One day, her father’s wife called, saying that her father has had heart surgery and that they need Hannah’s help up in Georgia (where she grew up). What was supposed to be a trip to care for her father ended up as a journey full of old childhood memories and family discoveries. Hannah learned many stories about her family past through her father and another relative she did not even know was still alive. During her stay in Georgia, Hannah visited with Sybil, her father’s first cousin. Through Sybil and her diaries, Hannah solved the mystery of a ledger, bringing closure to another mystery, and came to the realization that their past and future were more connected than expected. In Red Clay and Roses, S.K. Nicholls brings up sensitive subjects of racism, abortion, and women’s position in society. The story sends us way back to LaGrange, Georgia, to an era where Blacks were not allowed to patronize the same venues as Whites, and abortion was still banned. Ms. Nicholls carefully describes the drama of different characters, whose lives in the past were interconnected and, by irony of fate, are connected to Hannah’s life in the future. I loved the plot, the characters, and how the story flowed. Ms. Nicholls' use of the Southern dialect made the story more realistic. I particularly enjoyed the history lessons and the socio-anthropological evolution of society until the time the main character (Hannah) lives. This is fascinating reading. I definitely recommend it.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Kayci Webster for Readers' Favorite Red Clay and Roses by S.K. Nicholls is a story based on Southern America during the 1950s-60s. The story focuses on Hannah, her journey, and the people she meets, such as Beatrice, the good doctor’s wife, and Moses Grier, their colored handyman, as well as the Griers’ son Nathan and his white lover, Sybil. It all takes place during a time when the Jim Crow Law was in place, women were often seen as the inferior gender, and racism was very strong. Needless to say, Nathan and Sybil’s relationship is not only socially unacceptable, it is against the law. Red Clay and Roses, though depicting a specific time in American history, is a timeless tale in itself. It is rather historical, while skillfully blending drama, angst, and romance into an important story of social progression. S.K. Nicholls has crafted an incredibly touching piece of written art in Red Clay and Roses. The characters are so interesting and believable that you cannot help but be drawn into their tales and both sympathize and connect with them in some way or another. While the story is definitely based on times past, it is still very relevant. The subjects that this story discusses deeply are those that could still be viewed as uncomfortable. The honesty with which S.K. Nicholls explores them is refreshing, something that makes this such an important read in my opinion. Nicholls’ way with words is delightful, too, as the story is filled with rich and vivid imagery. You will feel as if you have just stepped into the South through the pages of this book.
Allthingsbook-ReviewRL More than 1 year ago
3 Star "Think for yourself. Don't think too much of yourself." Red Clay and Roses takes you on a journey through time, as one woman learns secrets about the people from her hometown. Brings to light what living in a small town in Southern Georgia was like back in the 1950's and 1960's. Back when the prohibition was going strong, Vietnam war, the Great Depression. I do have to warn that their is a lot of racism in this book that keeps with the time period during which the story is placed. (This book is by no means racist, but is in line with the time period being written about.) The only thing I didn't like about the book was the Journal style writing that was constantly changing from the 1950's/60's time frame to the year 2012.
CarrieR1 More than 1 year ago
Wonderful blend of fiction and history. This book weaves a fictional tale into the setting of the tense race relationships in the South in the 50s and 60s. A nurse finds an old ledger used by a doctor of chiropractic medicine who performed abortions on the side. Through that book she uncovers the stories of the people surrounding the "Good Doctor," including an African-American family who works for him as well as a young white woman who has an affair with the family's son. The amount of research behind this book is impressive, yet it doesn't bog down the story. I found myself invested in Nathan and Sybil's relationship and was anxious to see how it would all come together in the end. I was not disappointed. I also enjoyed the smooth writing style. Overall a wonderful read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great blend of fiction with cultural fact! A romance with a twist, rooted in racial turmoil and historical conflict. Beyond learning about Hannah's own journey, I greatly appreciated the supporting characters in this book. The attention to detail and genuine southern influence add great intrigue and sincerity. As a new author, Nicholls shows great promise. There are a few points in the book that could improve with flow and experience, but the story line is solid. Overall, it is a great read and I am looking forward to more from this upcoming and talented new author.