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December 26, 2020


#Classic Iola Leroy

by N@ncy


  1. It tells the story of a wealthy Mississippi planter
  2. who frees and marries his mixed-race slave.
  3. They have two children, Iola and Harry.
  4. They are raised without knowledge of their
  5. mixed background and educated in the North.
  6. After  the father’s death
  7. …greedy relatives thrust Iola and her mother into slavery.


  1. Ch 1-8  present
  2. Ch 9-12 flashback ( 20 years ago….)
  3. Ch 13- 33 present


  1. Strong point:  Regional dialect, characters influenced
  2. by a specific locale with  speech and attitudes
  3. …reflected the deep South in 1860s.
  4. Mainly in ch 1-8…so if you find it irritating reading
  5. ….just remember the rest of the book is ordinary text.


  1. Strong point: 
  2. This book  as old as it is…just makes me think!
  3. Pg 32 says:
  4. THEN: “…when the colored men were being enlisted,
  5. …that he (soldier) would
  6. break his sword and resign.”
  1. NOW: 128 years later Lloyd Austin could would be
  2. the first African American to lead the Pentagon.
  3. West Point graduate, retired four-star general,
  4. former commander of the American military effort in Iraq
  5. …has been nominated by President Elect Biden
  6. …to be his Secretary of Defense.
  7. Oh,…times are a changin’!


  1. Strong point: 
  2. Ms Harper is prescient…
  3. perceiving  in 1892 the
  4. …significance of events before they occur.
  5. “Other men have plead his (black man’s) cause
  6. but out of the race must come its own defenders.
  7. With them the pen must be mightier than the sword.”
  8. REF: Opinion NYTimes  dd. 12.12.2020 
  9. Svp read –>  “How White is Publishing?”
  10. …and add more voices of color to your reading lists!



  1. Ms Harper fulfills the requirement of historical fiction:
  2. — bringing alive the past
  3. — speaking forcefully
  4. — to the readers of today.
  5. Themes: importance of religion, oppression of women
  6. Themes: racism, central role of women in community/family
  7. Subplot: a beautiful love triangle…
  8. Triangle:  Iola – Dr. Gresham – Dr. Latimar
  9. Some have said this book feels outdated
  10. …but I disagree. 
  11. It made many strong points
  12. …that we can learn from….even today!
  13. Iola Leroy is powerful enough to
  14. remain with readers for years to come.
  15. That is why it is a ….
  16. #MustRead  #Classic!
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  1. #Reading Challenges 2021 | NancyElin

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