Belle City is an interracial, intergenerational saga of love, loss and land—and ultimately of family. It is a story of the South, told from the perspectives of Ruth Thatcher, who is Black, and Jonas Thatcher, who is white, a story that is almost 100 years in the telling. Told in three parts, Belle City begins in 1917 in Carrie's Crossing, Georgia, on the eve of World War I when Ruthie and Jonas meet as 12-year old farm children, and it ends in 2005 when Ruthie and Jonas die on the same day at 100 years of age.
They leave behind them two astounding wills and a life time of oral and written family history against a backdrop of Reconstruction, the Ku Klux Klan, two world wars, Jim Crow, the Great Negro Migration, the Jazz Age—and they leave descendants who must unravel all of it in the midst of the strange new digital world of the Twenty-First Century. During the course of their lifetimes, Ruth and Jonas—and their families—have evolved and prospered, but it is the modern day descendants who must come to grips with the long unacknowledged truth that the two families are actually one.
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"Ms. Mickelbury has done an excellent job of making you care about her characters and of keeping your interest throughout the novel. She is such a talented author that I found myself crying during certain parts of it. It was almost as if I were living the moment. This is an outstanding work of historical fiction, and I highly recommend it."
"This book is filled with historical accounts as well as fictitious place[s] and people who are striving for a better life and equal treatment. Many of the African Americans struggle to escape the perils and scars of slavery but instilling in each generation [a] hunger for prosperity in a state and town that make it difficult to live and make a living. I love the way the author provides a descriptive account of the emotional and mental state of each character and how some of those scars are present 30-40 years later."