Marilyn Denny Thomas. Sweet Beulah Land. Longwood, FL: Xulon Press, 2008.

This novel opens with the buzzing activities of Election Day in Beulah, North Carolina. As Marilyn Denny Thomas describes that day in 1900 and the days following, she introduces the reader to a wide cast of characters. There are the members of the Gresham family (Jeb and Sarah Jane and their five daughters) who are well-established in Duplin County. They have formed strong bonds with their friends, such as the Thomases and the Williamses, and relatives (some of whom spell their last name Grisham or Grissom) in this tightly knit community. Residents of Beulah share their many joys, such as marriages, births, and successful tobacco crops as well as many disappointments, such as wayward family members, unfulfilled dreams, and deaths.  Beulah is not unlike other small towns; it has its share of darkness, such as the murder of a former slave, and as well as shared curiosities, such as the total solar eclipse that townspeople witnessed as they collected tobacco from the fields. Thomas exposes the happenings of a small southern town at the turn of the century.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2008, Coastal Plain, Duplin, Historical, Novels by County, Thomas, Marilyn Denny, Year of Publication

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