Official Review: Nettie boo by Judy Brown

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any non-fiction books such as autobiographies or political commentary books.
Forum rules
Authors and publishers are not able to post replies in the review topics.
User avatar
MsH2k
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 1680
Joined: 31 Jul 2019, 11:11
Favorite Book: Crushing
Currently Reading: The Vanished
Bookshelf Size: 164
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-msh2k.html
Latest Review: The Deacon by Thomas Fargnoli

Official Review: Nettie boo by Judy Brown

Post by MsH2k »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Nettie boo" by Judy Brown.]
Book Cover
2 out of 4 stars
Share This Review


In the blurb for Nettie Boo, author Judy Adams Brown succinctly provides a summary of the four short stories in the collection. The themes (slavery, elder abuse, infidelity, and unlawful incarceration) were not light material. I considered skipping this read, but the face of the little girl on the cover beckoned me to hear these stories. There was something familiar about her. She could have been my daughter, my niece, or even me as a child. Her innocent resolve filled her presence.

The four stories span a century, starting with the last years of slavery in the United States in the 1860s and ending with the continuing fight for civil rights in the 1960s. Without an introduction to provide the background, reading each of the nonfiction narratives was like a puzzle; I collected pieces of information throughout the story to form a (mostly) complete context by the end.

“Tip Top Mountain” had the most unique setting, describing the life of a Cherokee community in the Blue Ridge Mountains in the early 1940s. “Jack Leg Preacher” shared the heartbreak of a woman married to a handsome, influential, and adulterous Baptist preacher in New Orleans. “Trapped,” my least favorite of the four, was about a young man who was set up and falsely imprisoned for car theft.

The titular story was first, and it was by far my favorite. Like all the narratives, it was written from a first-person perspective. Nettie matter-of-factly described her life as a slave in Texas. She was born on a “plantation that bred and raised slaves.” I must admit, I never considered the possibility of plantations specializing in raising slaves like one would raise cattle or corn. After pondering this for a moment, sadly, it made sense. Nettie mentioned historical markers such as receiving newsletters from Frederick Douglass and the Union soldiers’ announcement of the end of slavery on the day that later would become known as Juneteenth. She also described learning how to read by listening to the classes in the schoolhouse while she was sitting outside, waiting to escort her mistress home from school. (Nettie’s mistress was three years younger than she was.) She described feeling like a whole person when a Union soldier addressed her by her full name. Until that time, Ms. Nettie Boo Johnson had not considered that she had a last name.

The beauty of this book, and what I like best, is the richness of the stories. They add a personal perspective to historical periods in the United States that are rarely covered.

I most disliked the grammatical errors. I allowed for the author’s artistic license in “Nettie Boo” since it was narrated in the voice of a slave who did not have a formal education. The errors made the story more authentic. The remaining stories, however, were set in the 1940s and later, and I could find no reason to accept the many spelling, missing possessive case, and verb tense errors in those narratives.

I rate Nettie Boo 2 out of 4 stars. I deducted the first star because of the number of grammatical errors. They were also distracting enough to be a factor in the second star’s removal. The other reason for deducting the second star was the lack of an overall framing of the stories. Were the characters members of the author’s family? How did these stories arrive in the author’s care? Since this is a nonfiction collection, it would improve the reading experience to know who these people were, not just what happened to them.

In its current state, Nettie Boo is not a smooth read, but the stories are captivating. With that caveat, I recommend this book to teens and older who would enjoy a snapshot of lives lived in the period from the end of slavery through the civil rights movement in U.S. history. There is no profanity or erotic content, but themes such as slavery, prostitution, and abuse are included in the collection. This book would benefit from the work of a professional editor to address the aforementioned issues.

******
Nettie boo
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon
"Choose your heroes wisely."
#358
Last Words From Above (Jeremy Brown)
User avatar
sanjus
Posts: 1946
Joined: 08 May 2018, 12:47
2021 Reading Goal: 21
Currently Reading: Charles' Story
Bookshelf Size: 378
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-sanjus.html
Latest Review: Nightlord: Sunset by Garon Whited
Reading Device: B00I15SB16

Post by sanjus »

Hope the author fixes the grammatical errors by the next edition. The four short stories depicts the period of end of slavery in 1860 looks quite heart touching. Thanks for your honest review.
life is only knowing the unknown, we can do this by reading books easily- I believe this is my own quote. If someone quoted this before I am glad to know.
User avatar
MsH2k
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 1680
Joined: 31 Jul 2019, 11:11
Favorite Book: Crushing
Currently Reading: The Vanished
Bookshelf Size: 164
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-msh2k.html
Latest Review: The Deacon by Thomas Fargnoli

Post by MsH2k »

sanjus wrote: ↑22 Nov 2020, 22:12 Hope the author fixes the grammatical errors by the next edition. The four short stories depicts the period of end of slavery in 1860 looks quite heart touching. Thanks for your honest review.
These stories really are priceless; I do hope there will be a second edition. I still think about Nettie.
Thank you for your visit. I appreciate your comment.
"Choose your heroes wisely."
#358
Last Words From Above (Jeremy Brown)
User avatar
Sou Hi
Posts: 1036
Joined: 07 Sep 2019, 09:06
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 89
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-sou-hi.html
Latest Review: Serendipity Mystery: Diary of a Snoopy Cat by R.F. Kristi

Post by Sou Hi »

Thanks for your honest review. While this book is quite exotic, addressing many sensitive aspects such as slavery or abuse, seems like it still needs improvements.
User avatar
MsH2k
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 1680
Joined: 31 Jul 2019, 11:11
Favorite Book: Crushing
Currently Reading: The Vanished
Bookshelf Size: 164
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-msh2k.html
Latest Review: The Deacon by Thomas Fargnoli

Post by MsH2k »

Sou Hi wrote: ↑23 Nov 2020, 21:44 Thanks for your honest review. While this book is quite exotic, addressing many sensitive aspects such as slavery or abuse, seems like it still needs improvements.
I am glad I read this book, but I do hope some improvements will be made to engage the reader better.
Thank you for your comment.
"Choose your heroes wisely."
#358
Last Words From Above (Jeremy Brown)
User avatar
Olabode Joshua
Posts: 589
Joined: 10 Mar 2018, 12:33
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 77
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-olabode-joshua.html
Latest Review: Natural Born Gangster: The Legend of Chris Bell by C J H Moore
Reading Device: B0042D75TU

Post by Olabode Joshua »

These are the kinds of stories that young people must read to know what happened before them. Reading stories like this one has benefitted me a lot as some would say that I speak beyond my years. The rating was justified and necessary, but readers should not be deceived. It is a must-read. Great review, MsH2k!
Remember, we are passers-by in this realm
User avatar
MsH2k
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 1680
Joined: 31 Jul 2019, 11:11
Favorite Book: Crushing
Currently Reading: The Vanished
Bookshelf Size: 164
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-msh2k.html
Latest Review: The Deacon by Thomas Fargnoli

Post by MsH2k »

Olabode Joshua wrote: ↑24 Nov 2020, 04:54 These are the kinds of stories that young people must read to know what happened before them. Reading stories like this one has benefitted me a lot as some would say that I speak beyond my years. The rating was justified and necessary, but readers should not be deceived. It is a must-read. Great review, MsH2k!
Your words are so true! These stories have stayed with me after reading this book, and the scenarios were not too different from stories passed on in my family’s history. I do hope the author will make the adjustments necessary to make this read more engaging for the reader. The stories are priceless.
Thank you for your insightful comment.
"Choose your heroes wisely."
#358
Last Words From Above (Jeremy Brown)
User avatar
Ellylion
Posts: 1920
Joined: 01 Mar 2019, 15:33
Favorite Book: The Altitude Journals
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 57
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-ellylion.html
Latest Review: Create the Life You Want by Raymond P. Gerson

Post by Ellylion »

Sorry to learn that such an important read had that many issues! Definitely a must-read. Thank you for a great review!
User avatar
MsH2k
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 1680
Joined: 31 Jul 2019, 11:11
Favorite Book: Crushing
Currently Reading: The Vanished
Bookshelf Size: 164
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-msh2k.html
Latest Review: The Deacon by Thomas Fargnoli

Post by MsH2k »

Ellylion wrote: ↑26 Nov 2020, 09:50 Sorry to learn that such an important read had that many issues! Definitely a must-read. Thank you for a great review!
Yes, stories like these are so important to capture and share with future generations. I hope the author will have the opportunity to make the necessary adjustments. Thank you for your comment and for stopping by, Ellylion!
"Choose your heroes wisely."
#358
Last Words From Above (Jeremy Brown)
User avatar
Dominik_G
Posts: 656
Joined: 29 Jun 2020, 14:45
Currently Reading: Secret Window
Bookshelf Size: 32
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-dominik-g.html
Latest Review: #19 by Randi Tetlow

Post by Dominik_G »

Despite its flaws Nettie Boo sounds like a book that has the potential to be gripping and really powerful. I hope it goes through a round of thorough editing sometime in the future. Thank you for your well-written and honest review!
Latest Review: #19 by Randi Tetlow
User avatar
MsH2k
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 1680
Joined: 31 Jul 2019, 11:11
Favorite Book: Crushing
Currently Reading: The Vanished
Bookshelf Size: 164
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-msh2k.html
Latest Review: The Deacon by Thomas Fargnoli

Post by MsH2k »

Dominik_G wrote: ↑29 Nov 2020, 04:20 Despite its flaws Nettie Boo sounds like a book that has the potential to be gripping and really powerful. I hope it goes through a round of thorough editing sometime in the future. Thank you for your well-written and honest review!
Gripping is a great way to describe these stories. There is something special about real-life narratives. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment!
"Choose your heroes wisely."
#358
Last Words From Above (Jeremy Brown)
User avatar
Saint Bruno
Posts: 933
Joined: 28 Aug 2020, 14:47
2021 Reading Goal: 150
Favorite Author: Agatha Christie
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 52
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-saint-bruno.html
Latest Review: Waking Dead by Jay Glendell
fav_author_id: 2484

Post by Saint Bruno »

A 2-star rating? But I like the book's cover. Just kidding anyway. I enjoyed your detailed and insightful review. Good job!
User avatar
MsH2k
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 1680
Joined: 31 Jul 2019, 11:11
Favorite Book: Crushing
Currently Reading: The Vanished
Bookshelf Size: 164
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-msh2k.html
Latest Review: The Deacon by Thomas Fargnoli

Post by MsH2k »

Saint Bruno wrote: ↑30 Nov 2020, 16:22 A 2-star rating? But I like the book's cover. Just kidding anyway. I enjoyed your detailed and insightful review. Good job!
This book cover still catches my eye when I see it in my Kindle library! Thank you for stopping by and reading my take on this collection.
"Choose your heroes wisely."
#358
Last Words From Above (Jeremy Brown)
User avatar
Eutoc
Posts: 458
Joined: 15 Sep 2020, 01:39
2021 Reading Goal: 25
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 22
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-eutoc.html
Latest Review: Hire Right, Fire Right by Roxi Bahar Hewertson

Post by Eutoc »

I haven't gotten the chance to see what slavery was like in a place like Texas. Probably this could be a good start. Thanks for the review.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson
User avatar
MsH2k
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 1680
Joined: 31 Jul 2019, 11:11
Favorite Book: Crushing
Currently Reading: The Vanished
Bookshelf Size: 164
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-msh2k.html
Latest Review: The Deacon by Thomas Fargnoli

Post by MsH2k »

Eutoc wrote: ↑02 Dec 2020, 12:10 I haven't gotten the chance to see what slavery was like in a place like Texas. Probably this could be a good start. Thanks for the review.
Nettie’s story will definitely make an impact. It’s one I won’t soon forget. Thank you for your comment, Eutoc.
"Choose your heroes wisely."
#358
Last Words From Above (Jeremy Brown)
Post Reply

Return to “Non-Fiction Books”