This review is from: The Trap – Emancipation (Kindle Edition)
This engaging first novel presents a faithful picture of Southern life in the 1960s, at the height of the civil rights struggle. Anyone who has ever lived in the Southeast, or visited there, will recognize the truth of these characters and the artistry with which they are brought to life in this lively story. Headrick has mastered the dialects of two Southern groups, and he manages to make both dialects understandable through good writing and clever clues to meaning.The novel strongly enlists the reader’s interest, as it follows the exploits of a young part-black boy, Jesop Arnaud, and an adorable mouse, Jim, sent to him by his psychic great-grandmother, a Cajun practitioner of good Voodoo magic. Jesop faces terrible ordeals at the hands of a few bigoted white people and a wicked great aunt, who is intent on bringing ruin to her sister and her sister’s family. Headrick deftly develops the characters of Jesop and his family and friends so that the reader is quickly absorbed in their lives and trials.
Some of the incidents seem absurd and fantastic in some ways. But Headrick’s talent shines through as he transforms the most unlikely materials into a work of literary art. The novel is eminently readable, with a style reminiscent of Mark Twain at his best. This rare, sensational first novel will leave the reader yearning to read more about the exploits of young Jesop and the tender, if sometimes troubled, romance between his parents.