Brambleman Review: “Welcome to Cumming”

This most interesting Amazon.com review of Brambleman comes from Meg Gerrish under the heading “Welcome to Cumming”:

As my grandfather brought me from the airport to the new home where he and my grandmother would live out their retirement years, on a hilltop overlooking Lake Lanier, he said with much scorn, “Welcome to Cumming. This is where they hung two Negroes for still being in town when the sun went down.” When the murders occurred, I don’t know, I was just 13. He stated that welcome in 1966.

So when I heard about this book and that Forsyth County had a grave history of ethnic cleansing beyond the murder of those two men, I was interested. The writer does a great job of weaving real history (changing the names) into the fantastical, fictional life of a character named Charlie Sherman, who despaired of life until Trouble found him. And on the back of rising success, he despaired some more.

Although I have no knowledge about the author’s pursuits for publication, I can imagine publishers loved the manuscript while also stewing over how to classify it — the genre, the genre, where does this fit? — but it was a great read, easily visualized with entertaining dialogue and at the upper tier, the most important part of the story, delivered a part of the American experience that should not be swept away. Even with this kind of hate permeating part of our history, it should have no place in America’s today and tomorrow.

I don’t know if my grandfather ever knew about ethnic cleansing in the town where he settled (in America!), but he knew enough to be discouraged of the locals. He lived in Cumming because that’s where my grandmother wanted to be, next to where her sisters had also set up for retirement. It was a lovely place in the late 1960s. But not always.

See Brambleman‘s Amazon.com page.

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