An unholy union exists between a racist U.S. senator and the candidate poised to become South
Carolina’s first black congressman since the Civil War.
The year is 1959, the setting, rural South Carolina. Poor, black teenager Ike Washington stumbles on a Klan lynching led by a white judge. Caught, he must choose: join the dead man or begin hustling black support the ambitious judge needs to advance. In trade, Ike is handed a life of comfort and power. Decades later, as he is poised to become the first black SC congressman since Reconstruction, guilt-wracked Ike winds up alone in the same forest, a long rope in his fist. Rookie reporter Dan Patragno uncovers the truth just before Election Day.
(From the publicist)
Paperback, 336 pages
Published 2012 by 9 to 1 Press
ReviewY’all know I love me some Southern Fiction, especially those set in South Carolina (I LOVE my state). Bootlicker is one of those books that makes me proud to be Southern. Though Piacente is admittedly not a Southerner, he accurately and eloquently gives a Southern voice to his characters. The South is as much a character in this book as the actual characters. There are elements, like the racial unrest and discord that still exists to some extent today, that are as important to the story as the plot that couldn’t have been as real were Bootlicker not a Southern novel.
There is no political intrigue, no mystery to solve, no stalkers or assassins. Bootlicker is straight up fiction, and the good kind. We see the story unfold from the eyes of several different people, different views that make things feel real and earnest. I ached with their pains and rejoiced with their victories. Piacente wrote in a way that immediately draws you into the story, it pleads with you to invest your emotional fortune there, and leaves you stripped bare and yearning for the story. You believe it, you want it, and you will it with all your might to happen. And when it does, you’re relieved that it’s finished, glad that justice is served, and weary from just taken such a journey.
Booklicker isn’t perfect. We had our fair share of words. It knows how I feel, and we’re both ok with that. What it is, is a heart wrenching story, a victorious story; one you must read.
5 Moons: Put this on your TBR and buy it!
Get to reading,
If you haven’t already, check out Piacente’s guest post!
*This book was provided to me by the publicist through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*