Daughter of My People

Written by James Kilgo
Review by Cindy Vallar

In rural South Carolina in 1918, the social taboos in existence prior to the Civil War are still adhered to, but Hart Bonner has broken one. He’s fallen in love with Jennie Grant. He’s white and she’s a cousin of mixed race. When Jennie makes the mistake of being uppity, the entire county learns of their affair. Tison, Hart’s older brother, disapproves of such scandalous behavior, but he becomes fixated on Jennie. The mounting tension between the brothers propels them, Jennie, and the family down a path that has far-reaching and unforeseen consequences for everyone involved.

Kilgo’s first novel compels the reader to turn the page, to savor each word that he’s written. He transports the reader back to a poverty-stricken south that still reels from the devastation of war. If you close your eyes, you can hear the clop of horses, the racket of the rare automobile, the insects chirping, or the yapping of the hounds. You sweat from the sweltering heat or shiver from the icy cold. This is the type of book that you curl up with on a rainy day, and when you finish reading, the characters and the setting will haunt you for many days to come.