I have read all three of her novels and I want more! She has done he research, because I checked. Not because she was in error, but because I never heard of the race riots in Tulsa. I'm getting ahead of myself, that is a part of 'The Son of a Preacher man'. There are authors out there that tell stories, then there are gifted authors that tell spell binding stories. Marlene Banks is one of those authors.
Bo, is a freed slave, well educated and has a strong faith in God. Besides tending his farm, he also buys slaves to set them free. On one such occasion he buys a woman named Ruth. Ruth is a proud, beautiful slave. being bought and sold for breeding, she is filled with bitterness and pain. She longs to be free but when that time comes she doesn't quite understand that when she was bought, Bo bought her freedom, not just her.
I have to admit, I was a little startled at first. I happened to have missed that Ruth is a breeding slave. It is not very detailed in that area. It mentions it throughout the book, once she has a nightmare about it and it gets a little detailed there but not bad. I can't say I enjoyed this book, but I didn't dislike it either_ It was kind of depressing yet it really is what these slaves went through. I wouldn't recommend this book for younger audiences. I'd say 15 and up is a good age. There were not a lot of dull moments, it is filled with scripture as Bo witnesses to Ruth. I think that this book was well written.
Ruth's Redemption by Marlene Banks is a novel set in the heart of slave country Virginia before the Civil War. Ruth is a slave who has been raised only for breeding. She was torn from her mom at a very young age, and experience several miseries at the hands of slave owners, as well as other slaves. Bo Peace is a free slave who buys Ruth at the market one day since her fate was the tabacco farm. His intentions are to buy slaves in order free them. He requires, but does not demand, that they work a year for him to pay off their debt, but they are free to leave anytime. Ruth has not concept of his love, and wonders at his kindness, through the cloud of her distrust.
Bo is a proper Christian man who sees that Ruth needs to move out the main house and live with another unmarried free slave on the farm. Ruth misinterprets his suggestion, and they get married. Bo misunderstood what Ruth's intentions were and doesn't understand why she thinks she can leave once her freedom papers arrive. He thought she would want to stay since she is now his wife, but in her uneducated stubbornness she only wants freedom, including freedom from a husband.
Through a series of events including the death of a slave at the hands of slave catchers, the rape of a white woman at a neighboring boardinghouse, and a fight in the swamp this story weaves it ways through the turmoil and love between Bo and Ruth. When Ruth is captured by slave catcher Bo chases after he, once he realizes she was taken and didn't leave on her own accord.
An additional character in this book is the famous preacher and self-proclaimed prophet Nat Turner. Although Nat Turner's actions were a hinge on which the winds of change came, his actions caused added tribulations for Bo as a free slave. The Quakers offered Bo and Ruth a chance to lead slaves - free and runaway - to a new life in the west. Bo and Ruth undertake a 21 month long journey to Oregon where they spend the rest of their life in relative peace.
I recommend this book to any reader who is a fan of the Civil War, and who wants a different perspective into the South before the war.
Read the prologue from Scribd.com
About the Author: Marlene Banks is a graduate of Rhema Bible Institute (Keysville, VA) who worked as a nurse and businesswoman for more than 30 years. She write inspiring, griping, and realistic fictional stories that are centered on the lives of Africa Americans' history. She currently resides in Philadelphia, PA.
*I received this book from Moody Publishing and will not be compensated for my review.
A ex-slave Bodine Peace was given his freedom by his owner along with a large parcel of land to farm. Â He did not flaunt his freedom in fact after his farm became profitable he would go to the slave sales and purchase Â slaves in order to turn around and give them their freedom. Â Some moved on but some stayed to become share cropper on Bo's land. Â They had become a respected community of freed slaves.
Ruth was being put on the slave auction block stripped down for all to see. Â When a buyer decided to check out the merchandise Ruth was told to open her mouth so the buyer could examine her teeth. Â She boldly refused to open her mouth and the more they tried to physically force open her mouth she fought that much harder then bit down on the auctioneer's hand. This gained her a hit up side her head and a promise to be hauled off to be punished with a whip. No one would even consider bidding on her after the way she just acted. Â At this time Bodine Peace raised his voice and said he would buy her and he did buy for a very high price. Â He could have bought several slaves there freedom for what he ended up paying for her. Â But he could not bear to see this beautiful creature of God being abused anymore than she already had been.
When he gets back to his farm he has Naomi clean her up and care for her injuries. Â He could not believe the feeling he was having for this woman. Â His wife died several years ago during childbirth and Naomi was his wife's mother. Â She was like his own mother. Â He speaks with Naomi and tells her to find another woman Ruth can stay with because it would not be respectable for her to stay in his house.
As Ruth healed physically it was apparent she was not healing mentally or spiritually no matter how kind Naomi and Bo were to her and her needs. Â As hard as they tried to convince her she would have a good home staying with a freed slave by the name of Mae, but Ruth would become fearful and beg to stay in Bo's house because it felt like it was her home. Â After many talks with Naomi, Ruth revealed bits and pieces about her life. Â She was what they called a Breeder, a female slave which main purpose was to produce children and she had been abused beyond imagination since she was twelve years old. Â
Bo tried to keep the woman out of his head but the temptation of this beautiful woman living in the same house to him was unbearable for his soul. Â Why had God brought this woman into his life? Â Could she be the answer to his loneliness? Â Is it God's will to take her as his wife? Â She admits to not wanting to know his God because of the life she was forced to live without help from his God. Â Can God break through her pride and hardened heart and reveal to her the love He has for her. Â She can't see how God will ever free the slaves from their bondage, but Bo has great faith in the Lord our God that He will one day free His children from slavery because he had sent His Son to free mankind from sin. Â
The story is told from the view of freed slave and many that were not free. Â It shows how strong their faith and belief was in God and His will. Â They faith that He would give them freedom as He did for the Hebrews who were finally freed.
The author included the historical figure and event of Nat Turner and the Rebellion in Tidewater, Virginia. Â An uprising of slaves against the white plantation owners which killed many on both sides. Â The story gave me another look and lesson into history that I will gladly pass on to my children and grandchildren. Â
I highly recommend this book.
Disclosure: Â I received a free copy of this book from MPNewsroom/ Moody Publisher for review. Â I was in no way compensated for this review. Â This review is my honest opinion.
"When you come to know the Lord, it will all make sense and be more real than even living in this world is now."
--Ruth's Redemption, page 89
So much wisdom in this book. Not comparing yourself to others. Not measuring by the memory of another. So wise. Trusting the Lord with your life. Listening and paying attention. Forgiving.
Choice of names; Ruth, Naomi, Bo, Mara - bitter. Bo buys Ruth from a slave auction to set her free. Ruth sees her freedom as bondage. She has not been loved and does not recognize what love is. Bo's life is shattered until he realizes the love he has received is what he can give. Turbulence overcome. Naomi is a strong character in the advice she gives within her losses. I really liked that the novel includes an epilogue telling what happened as the "rest of the story."
In 1820, Bodine Peace is given his freedom and a parcel of land following the Will instructions upon the death of his master. Other freed slaves live on Bo's land. As he can, he buys slaves to set them free after one year of servitude when they receive their freedom papers.
The research places the characters within historical events/happenings between 1830-1835 in Southhampton County, Virginia, and how their lives were affected resulting from slave catchers and the Nat Turner slave rebellion of 1931.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Marlene Banks resides in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In addition to being a prolific writer she has an associate degree in Theology from Rhema Bible Institute in Keysville, Virginia, and is currently pursuing studies to initiate a Christian counseling ministry. Marlene is a member of Bethel Deliverance International Church in Wyncote, Pennsylvania. Her work resume includes forty years in nursing and business.
A divine gift of storytelling with her unique voice and love of Christ creates engaging and inspirational novels. She considers her fiction writing an avenue to communicate the Gospel and Christian principles. It is also Marlene's goal to bridge the gap between faith-based and secular literature. RUTH'S REDEMPTION is her first release and SON OF A PREACHERMAN is her second.
Thank you to Moody Publishers for this copy of Ruth's Redemption in exchange for a review in my own words; a very well-written story.
I would like to read and review Son of a Preacherman:
"A historical romance novel set in the 1920s in Tulsa, Oklahoma, depicting the segregated life of African Americans in Northern Tulsa and the tensions leading up to the Tulsa Race Riots."