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Power In the Blood

by John Bentley Mays

ISBN 0140259422 / 9780140259421 / 0-14-025942-2
Publisher Penguin Putnam~trade
Language English
Edition Softcover
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Book summary

Both an extraordinary narrative and an honest exploration of the heart of the real American South, Power in the Blood  is the account of one man's rediscovery of his Southern roots and heritage, forgotten during decades of self-exile from his homeland.

The death of John Bentley Mays' Aunt Vandalia summons him back to the South, and Mays experiences an awakening of feelings and attitudes linked to his early life and family heritage, as he begins an internal exploration of the past. The secrets he uncovers in Vandalia's home motivate him to set out for answers, through the Virginia tidewater forests his ancestors cleared, the Colonial plantations of his distant ante-bellum relatives and the towns in which they dwelt throughout almost 400 years of American history. Along the routes of his quest, there are remnants of Faulkner, echoes of civil war and the spirits of colonial-era roads (now laden with stripmalls).

Power in the Blood  is about memory, and about the land that defines the blood and soul of a family over time. Above all, it is the poignant tale of an encounter with the American past as it emerges during a search for the truth of one family. [via]