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May 12, 2023

Petunia 1949 by Leah Brewer ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts 

Can two women of different races maintain a friendship when the odds are against it?

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of historical romance novel Petunia 1949 by Leah Brewer
May 2023; leahlaschelle; 979-8986492124
ebook, print (410 pages); historical romance

Petunia grew up in Arkansas in a poor family that could barely make ends meet.  Her father hated her because he believed she wasn't really his daughter because she had red hair.  Her long-suffering mother tried her best to raise her children to treat everyone the same no matter how different they were.  Petunia's best friend was Opal, a black girl who lived near them.  In 1949, Petunia falls in love with Verlon who is visiting from Chicago to help his aunt and uncle. When Verlon was 21 and Petunia was 16, they got married and moved to Chicago.  Verlon's parents were very loving and accepting of her and for the first time in her life, Petunia felt loved.  She soon got pregnant but before the baby was born, Verlon got drafted and sent to Korea to fight in the war.  The family was soon notified that he had died in the war and Petunia went home to help her mother. She began to spend time with her friend Opal and many people in town were upset about a friendship between two girls of different races.  After threats and run-ins with the local KKK, Petunia, and her family move to another town where a miraculous happening starts to turn her life around.

This was an interesting book and Petunia was involved in many of the major happenings of the time period -- poverty, race relations, and the KKK, and the Korean War.  Despite what was going on in her life, she treated everyone she loved the same and didn't discriminate.  I would judge this book to be more of a title for a teenager instead of an adult story.  A teenager interested in life in the American South of this time period could learn a lot and find a character to admire in Petunia.

Buy Petunia 1949 at Amazon

Susan Roberts grew up in Michigan but loves the laid-back life at her home in the Piedmont area of North Carolina where she is two hours from the beach to the east and the mountains in the west.  She reads almost anything but her favorite genres are Southern Fiction and Historical Fiction.

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