The Sweetest Hallelujah — Review

August 2, 2013

The Sweetest Hallelujah by Elaine Hussey is another book that I discovered thanks to BEA. And I’m so thankful that I found it.

With its setting in Jim Crow-era Mississippi, it’s difficult not to draw parallels to The Help, and while there are certain similarities (and I do think that if you liked The Help you’ll like this), The Sweetest Hallelujah is a very different story with very different characters.

Betty Jewel is dying of cancer, and while her mother is stately and staunch, she is old and will not be able to raise Betty Jewel’s 10-year old daughter Billie. With no better options in sight, Betty Jewel places an ad in the newspaper seeking a loving mother for Billie.

On the other side of town there’s Cassie. She’s a privileged housewife with a rebellious streak and a part-time job at the newspaper and she can’t help but be drawn to Betty Jewel’s striking story.

As racial tension mounts and people from both communities question their relationship, Betty Jewel and Cassie form a fierce, if complicated, friendship.

The Sweetest Hallelujah is a remarkable and complex story. It will tear your heart apart and put it back together time and again. Be prepared for accidental displays of emotion while reading in public. You may laugh out loud and/or cry hysterically in front of people. If that sounds unpleasant, then read this one in the privacy of your own home. But read it.

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One Response to “The Sweetest Hallelujah — Review”

  1. Janice said

    i will want to borrow this…

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