Friday, April 1, 2022

Release Day! Scarlet Carnation by Laila Ibrahim ~ My Thoughts #ScarletCarnation

Happy Release Day!

Congrats Laila
on the release today of
Scarlet Carnation!

Scarlet Carnation by Laila Ibrahim
Historical Fiction, 314 pages
Published April 1, 2022 by Lake Union Publishing

In an early twentieth-century America roiling with racial injustice, class divides, and WWI, two women fight for their dreams in a galvanizing novel by the bestselling author of Golden Poppies.

1915. May and Naomi are extended family, their grandmothers’ lives inseparably entwined on a Virginia plantation in the volatile time leading up to the Civil War. For both women, the twentieth century promises social transformation and equal opportunity.

May, a young white woman, is on the brink of achieving the independent life she’s dreamed of since childhood. Naomi, a nurse, mother, and leader of the NAACP, has fulfilled her own dearest desire: buying a home for her family. But they both are about to learn that dreams can be destroyed in an instant. May’s future is upended, and she is forced to rely once again on her mother. Meanwhile, the white-majority neighborhood into which Naomi has moved is organizing against her while her sons are away fighting for their country.

In the tumult of a changing nation, these two women―whose grandmothers survived the Civil War―support each other’s quest for liberation and dignity. Both find the strength to confront injustice and the faith to thrive on their chosen paths.

My thoughts about Scarlet Carnation ~~

(I love to note the first lines of the books I'm reading. First lines can really grab a reader's attention and I love seeing where the author takes the reader after their first line.)

First line—"Prologue: Naomi - We make joy in spite of the indignity—or perhaps because of it. Delight in my well-lived life is a most satisfying weapon against the hate and trampling."

Life was hard in 1915, especially for women, and particularly for black women. Scarlet Carnation explores the lives of two women who are struggling with different situations of those times. One white, one black, tied together through their pasts and their grandmothers, they find themselves fighting the injustices forced upon them. 

May and Naomi are family and through the pages of the book, I came to feel like family to them as well. This was a hard book to read at times, just because of the struggles they each were having to endure, but uplifting and beautiful at the same time. These were two very strong and resilient women who did whatever they needed to do for their families. 

Scarlet Carnation is an outstanding historical fiction story, demonstrating the hard times of the early twentieth-century and the resiliency of the people that lived through it. I highly recommend it!

I received an ARC Scarlet Carnation and this is my honest opinion.

About the author

Laila Ibrahim

Laila Ibrahim is the bestselling author of Golden Poppies, Paper Wife, Mustard Seed, and Yellow Crocus. She spent much of her career as a preschool director, a birth doula, and a religious educator. That work, coupled with her education in developmental psychology and attachment theory, provided ample fodder for her novels.

She’s a devout Unitarian Universalist, determined to do her part to add a little more love and justice to our beautiful and painful world. She lives with her wonderful wife, Rinda, and two other families in a small cohousing community in Berkeley, California. Her young adult children are her pride and joy.

Laila is blessed to be working full-time as a novelist. When she isn’t writing, she likes to take walks with friends, do jigsaw puzzles, play games, work in the garden, travel, cook, and eat all kinds of delicious food. Visit the author at                      

Connect with Laila


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