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Yellow Crocus
by Laila Ibrahim

Published: 2014-08-19
Paperback : 252 pages
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41 clubs reading this now
13 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 3 of 6 members

Moments after Lisbeth is born, she’s taken from her mother and handed over to an enslaved wet nurse, Mattie, a young mother separated from her own infant son in order to care for her tiny charge. Thus begins an intense relationship that will shape both of their lives for decades to ...

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Introduction

Moments after Lisbeth is born, she’s taken from her mother and handed over to an enslaved wet nurse, Mattie, a young mother separated from her own infant son in order to care for her tiny charge. Thus begins an intense relationship that will shape both of their lives for decades to come. Though Lisbeth leads a life of privilege, she finds nothing but loneliness in the company of her overwhelmed mother and her distant, slave-owning father. As she grows older, Mattie becomes more like family to Lisbeth than her own kin and the girl’s visits to the slaves’ quarters—and their lively and loving community—bring them closer together than ever. But can two women in such disparate circumstances form a bond like theirs without consequence? This deeply moving tale of unlikely love traces the journey of these very different women as each searches for freedom and dignity.

Revised edition: This edition of Yellow Crocus includes editorial revisions.

Editorial Review

No editorial review at this time.

Excerpt

Chapter 1
APRIL 14, 1837
Mattie lay curled around the warm shape of her son when the unwanted messenger knocked. She stayed on her pallet, reluctant to end this precious time, and listened to the sound of quiet snores coming from her grandfather. She gazed at Samuel, pressed her nose close against his soft neck to take in his sweet baby scent. She gently wiped the glistening sweat away from his damp forehead and gave him a tender kiss upon his temple. Another intrusive knock struck the door. Mattie got up. Cradling Samuel so close that she could feel warm puffs against her breast, she shuffled across the packed dirt floor. Though she expected this visitor, had anticipated a knock for weeks, she dreaded this moment. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

Mother-child relationships are a central theme in Yellow Crocus. How
do you think the setting affected that relationship for all people?

What, if any, parallels do you see between the culture in Yellow
Crocus and in our current society?

What were some of the key experiences that Lisbeth had that changed
her understanding of the world in which she lived?

Lisbeth reaction to Edward’s raping the field hand was naive. Miss
Anne’s reaction was nonchalant. Who’s reaction was more surprising to
you?

Who is your favorite character and why?

Early in the book, Mattie seemed certain she would never try to
escape, yet by the end she did. What do you think changed for her?

Most people born into Lisbeth’s situation would have gone on with the
status quo. If she had not seen Edward rape the field hand, do you
think she would have married him?

Do you know anyone who had a relationship similar to Mattie and Lisbeth’s?

What was surprising to you? Was there anything you could not believe?

What specific themes did Laila Ibrahim emphasize throughout the novel?
What do you think she is trying to get across to the reader?

Did certain parts of the book make you uncomfortable? If so, why did
you feel that way? Did this lead to a new understanding or awareness
of some aspect of your life you might not have thought about before?

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

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