Five stars from Forsyth County for Brambleman

(And while you’re here, check out the giveaway: Buy Brambleman, get the eBook of Chain Gang Elementary for free!)

A five-star review for Brambleman from Forsyth County reader Marcy Theobald (originally posted on Goodreads):

“I REALLY enjoyed this book.  Very much a page-turner.  I couldn’t wait to read the next chapter, and the next, and the next…

Jonathan Grant’s Brambleman is historical fiction, taking place in Forsyth County in my backyard of Cumming, GA.  It was interesting, to say the least, learning about what’s happened here in the county I’ve lived in for almost 15 years.  More accurately, I was appalled to learn that Oprah’s visit here in the late 80’s was the tip of Forsyth’s history-making iceberg.  Lynching was an acceptable practice here in the early-to-mid 1900’s, served by the hands of whites who didn’t appreciate the hard working blacks in their community doing jobs better than them, without complaint and for less money.  Moreover, they didn’t like that blacks owned property, so Forsyth’s whites ran them off their lands and out of the county and took over black-owned land as their own.

This is not to say that blacks were completely innocent, but when made a criminal, Forsyth’s white residents took it upon themselves to serve justice their way when they could get away with it, which was apparently often and bloody.

Grant interweaves Forsyth’s true history with the fictional story of a man, Charlie, who is newly separated from his wife, whose family resides in Forsyth County on land now (in our decade) worth millions. This novel contains a bit of magic — think George Bailey and his angel savior in It’s A Wonderful Life, but with a much darker slant — that comes and goes with a character Charlie names Trouble.  Trouble helps Charlie find a job and place to live, both with an elderly woman whose late husband wrote a hefty historic digest revealing Forsyth county’s nasty little secrets but died shortly after finishing it and not coincidentally one week after participating in the Forsyth march (on the side of justice) in the late 80’s.  Charlie’s job is to edit and publish the tome, which ends up uncovering lots of nastiness about his backwoods in-laws, ‘the varmints’.  And this is just the beginning of our journey.

Grant’s Brambleman is a history lesson, an awakening (yes, blacks still have it tough), and a wild ride of a story.  I thoroughly enjoyed the ending, and if you appreciate endings wrapped up in nice, neat packages, you’ll enjoy it, as well.”

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