Monday, September 16, 2013

TLC Book Tour: The Cutting Season by Attica Locke (Guest Reviewer)

I read this book earlier this year and posted a review then. When the blog tour option came my way, I knew that my friend, Cheryl would be great for this one. I enjoyed the book and I knew she would too.

From the website (
Caren Gray is the general manager of Belle Vie, a sprawling antebellum plantation where the past and the present coexist uneasily. The estate’s owners have turned the place into an eerie tourist attraction complete with full-dress reenactments and carefully restored slave quarters. Outside the gates, an ambitious corporation has been busy snapping up land from struggling families who have grown sugar cane for generations, replacing local employees with illegal laborers. Tensions mount when the body of a female migrant worker is found in a shallow grave on the edge of the property, her throat cut clean. The list of suspects is long, but when the cops zero in on a person of interest, Caren has a feeling they’re chasing the wrong leads. Putting herself at risk, she unearths startling new facts about an old mystery—the long-ago disappearance of a former slave—that has unsettling ties to the modern-day crime. In pursuit of the truth about Belle Vie’s history—and her own—Caren discovers secrets about both cases that an increasingly desperate killer will do anything to keep hidden.
Taut, hauntingly resonant, and beautifully written, The Cutting Season is at once a thoughtful meditation on how America reckons its past with its future and a high-octane page-turner that unfolds with tremendous skill and vision, demonstrating once again that Locke is “a writer wise beyond her years” (Los Angeles Times).

Cheryl's review:

The Cutting Season is a book with many layers. Though the book takes place entirely in the present, Locke’s expressive writing and characters provide a story that blends the past and present to provide the reader with an emotional and historical understanding of rural Louisiana.

Caren’s suspicions that the wrong person is accused of the migrant worker’s murder revives the history of Belle Vie and therefore, the history of her family and ancestors. The questions raised through the investigation make her assess her place at Belle Vie, both as manager and her childhood memories. Along the way, the characters weave in and out and and often influence how Caren works through her doubts about herself and her past.

The Cutting Season centers around a mystery but is also a family and Southern history. Locke’s storytelling transports the reader into the different times and lives of living in rural Louisiana. The characters’ deep roots and emotional ties to Belle Vie and Louisiana intertwine and it’s easy to get caught up in their lives. Though the book is a mystery, the murder was a catalyst for Caren and others to examine their places in the present and reconcile their ties to the past. Locke’s conclusion is a realistic portrayal that not everything can be tied up neatly and that sometimes the past should remain in the past.

Author Info:

Blog Tour:

Tuesday, September 17th: red headed book child
Wednesday, September 18th: Time 2 Read
Thursday, September 19th: Book-alicious Mama
Monday, September 23rd: BoundbyWords
Tuesday, September 24th: Kritters Ramblings
Wednesday, September 25th: Peppermint PhD
Thursday, September 26th: Lectus
Monday, September 30th: Booksie’s Blog
Tuesday, October 1st: Olduvai Reads
Monday, October 7th: M. Denise C. 
Thank you Cheryl for being a terrific Guest Reviewer and 
TLC Book Tour Host this time around.

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child


trish said...

Very true -- sometimes the past should stay in the past! Thanks for being on the tour!

Ryan said...

I wish I was willing to read this book, but I was so disappointed in her first that I'm not sure I would like this one.

Peppermint Ph.D. said...

Interesting that in Locke's story one part of the past needed to stay in the past while another part needed to surface :) I hadn't thought of that until I read your review!