Saga of a Country Girl
by Hannah Allen
Trafford Publishing

"It was not long after had moved to this town, that my stepmother gave birth to their fourth child, it was already nine kids living in a small plantation house along with the parents, that made for a big family."

A young woman called Claudine describes the first twenty-five years of her life in this short memoir, about living on a Mississippi plantation with her father and multiple siblings.

Claudine, also called Raunchy by her family, describes the life on the plantation house as full of hard work and little money. In a family without a mother, she often had to step in and help raise her younger siblings, in addition to her multiple duties at home. She talks about the strong bond she developed with her sister Pauline, how they grew up together and attended school which they often had to skip due to the workload on the plantation. She also talks about the darker moments of her life, when she was raped by a young man in her neighborhood and the various other ordeals that she went through. As she grows up, she falls in love with a person who has a drinking problem and has to leave him, but through it all she remains strong and moves on with her life with grace.

Allen's memoir is gripping, and it is written from the heart. The reader could easily identify with Claudine and the trials and tribulations that she went through on the plantation. However, the book has a tendency to change point of view and employs uses run-on sentences that considerably slow down the text. This is a good read for lovers of black history and for those who want to read about how people lived in the old times where televisions and cars were considered luxuries.

Return to USR Home