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All the Days Past, All the Days to Come
Cover of All the Days Past, All the Days to Come
All the Days Past, All the Days to Come
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The saga of the Logan family—made famous in the Newbery Medal-winning Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry—concludes in a long-awaited and deeply fulfilling story.In her tenth book, Mildred Taylor...
The saga of the Logan family—made famous in the Newbery Medal-winning Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry—concludes in a long-awaited and deeply fulfilling story.In her tenth book, Mildred Taylor...
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  • The saga of the Logan family—made famous in the Newbery Medal-winning Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry—concludes in a long-awaited and deeply fulfilling story.
    In her tenth book, Mildred Taylor completes her sweeping saga about the Logan family of Mississippi, which is also the story of the civil rights movement in America of the 20th century. Cassie Logan, first met in Song of the Trees and Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, is a young woman now, searching for her place in the world, a journey that takes her from Toledo to California, to law school in Boston, and, ultimately, in the 60s, home to Mississippi
    to participate in voter registration. She is witness to the now-historic events of the century: the Great Migration north, the rise of the civil rights movement, preceded and precipitated by the racist society of America, and the often violent confrontations that brought about change. Rich, compelling storytelling is Ms. Taylor's hallmark, and she fulfills expectations as she brings to a close the stirring family story that has absorbed her for over forty years. It is a story she was born to tell.

Excerpts-

  • From the book

    Going South

    (1947)


    I had taken the trip back to Mississippi twice before, once on the train and once with Stacey and Dee driving the two-­lane Dixie Highway through southern Ohio and across the bridge that spanned the Ohio River, the Mason-­Dixon Line that marked the end of our northern freedom. Once we crossed that bridge, everything changed. Once we crossed that bridge, we were in Kentucky. We were in the South, and there was no more pretense to equality.

    Signs were everywhere.

    White. Colored.

    The signs were over water fountains. The signs were on restroom doors. The signs were in motel windows. They were in restaurant windows. They were everywhere.

    Whites Only. Colored Not Allowed.

    We didn’t have to see the signs. We knew they were there. Even if there were no signs on display, they were imprinted in all our thinking. They were signs that had been there all our lives. When Dee and I had prepared all the food for the trip, it had been as if we were packing for a picnic. But of course that wasn’t the case. We had packed all this food because once we crossed out of Ohio into the South we could not stop in restaurants along the way, even if we had had the money or the time. We couldn’t stop at any of the motels or hotels either. We ate our cold food, knowing it was as good as or better than any served in the restaurants. We kept the signs in our heads, ate our food, and were thankful for it.

    Now, rolling through the border state of Kentucky, we took great care to attract as little attention as possible as we drove through the small towns that stretched along the highway. We stopped only in the big cities for gas. We stopped in Lexington, and farther south we planned to stop in Nashville or Memphis and prayed that everything would be fine with the car. We did not want contact with white people any more than necessary. We kept to the speed limit. We obeyed every traffic sign. Once in hard-­line Tennessee, we grew even more cautious. We all watched for the police, who could be hidden at any intersection, at any bushy turn of the highway, or in response to the call of any white person who had seen us with our northern plates riding through.

    And then we entered Mississippi.

    We were now in the Deep South and there was no state more menacing, more terrifying to black people than Mississippi. In each town we were wary of white men gathered on porches, standing in groups on the street, wary of their stares at four Negroes riding in a brand-­new Mercury with northern plates. We were wary if they stared too long, if they pointed toward us, if they appeared ready to approach us. We held our breath and moved cautiously, slowly, on, obeying fifteen-­mile-­an-­hour town speed limits, stopping at every red light, breaking no rules, and all the time as we drove, as we worried about being too noticeable. All of us knew we had to get through these small towns and down the road again toward home. Only once out of a town did we breathe normally again. Close to home, we drove through the town of Strawberry, its streets deserted in the predawn hours. We were glad of that; we did not want to be seen. We were in Mississippi, our birthplace, but it was now like being in a foreign land.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from November 11, 2019
    This absorbing historical novel concludes the five-volume story of the Logan family, which began in 1975 with Song of the Trees, followed by the Newbery Award–winner Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. Here,
    narrator Cassie, now a grown woman, describes an era of sweeping social change, which begins with the post-WWII Great Migration north and culminates with the civil rights movement. Cassie’s struggles and joys are decidedly adult, as she graduates from college and moves to Toledo to live with her brother’s family, seeks work in California, marries and becomes a widow, and eventually decides to fulfill a childhood dream of becoming a lawyer, a profession she eventually employs to register black voters in her home state of Mississippi. Taylor deftly sketches the strong characters of this tight-knit, though increasingly far-flung, family, and offers insights into seismic social movements and systematic oppression in the grim realities of racism faced by the family. A memorable heroine and her keen sense of injustice propel this satisfying conclusion to a landmark family saga. Ages 14–up.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from November 1, 2019
    A heart-stopping plot about a character whose life has always been defined by her family and their land. Readers who have followed Cassie Logan since Song of the Trees (1975) will feel the paradigm shift as she moves first to Ohio and then California and Colorado, where she still suffers racism, although different from that in Mississippi. In California, after Cassie miscarries, then gains and loses the love of her life, grief becomes her constant companion. Later, as a successful lawyer and the only Negro in a Boston firm, she remains dedicated to her family and their values, using her legal skills to advance civil rights, initially reluctantly but then willingly when injustice visits a close friend. Not surprisingly, Mama, Papa, Big Ma, and Uncle Hammer figure prominently in this novel, and when Cassie falls for a white colleague, several family members blatantly object to the relationship. This novel places the Logans' struggles amid historical events: Opening in 1944, it includes the integration of Ole Miss, the murders of Emmett Till and Medgar Evers, and the impacts of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. Taylor (The Land, 2001, etc.) refers frequently to episodes from her other novels, but this story also gives readers an up-close and personal view of key events of the civil rights movement. In this Logan swan song, Taylor is at her best. Surely the crown jewel of the Logan family saga. (Historical fiction. 12-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    December 1, 2019

    Gr 9 Up-Cassie Logan comes from the resilient, proud, and dignified Logan family of the Great Faith community in Mississippi. Throughout her life she witnesses the Great Migration and World War II, and experiences Jim Crow in public and private. She realizes teaching is not on her path and eventually pursues law in Boston. She is wooed by Central American construction man Flynn De Baca and has a tumultuous courtship and marriage with him until his drowning death, then alienates herself from her family due to her clandestine relationship with Guy Hallis, a white law firm colleague. Eventually, Cassie returns to Mississippi to participate in voter registration. Her family's lives are tested when Papa's health deteriorates. Taylor (Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry) has captivated legions of readers with award-winning masterful tales of the Logan family for over 40 years. Readers may find it hard to keep track of the numerous characters, though the presence of African American professionals and businesses is refreshing, and the family's tight-knit dynamic is captivating. Taylor brilliantly weaves the fictional Logans and their communities with real historical figures and organizations. She makes it easy for those new to the series by recapping notable moments. VERDICT Readers will fall in love with the Logans, whether for the first time or again, with this important conclusion to a literary era.-Donald Peebles, Brooklyn Public Library

    Copyright 2019 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from November 15, 2019
    Grades 9-12 *Starred Review* Taylor completes her monumental saga of the Logan family of Mississippi that began with her first novel, Song of the Trees (1975). This concluding volume finds Black protagonist Cassie now a 19-year-old college student in the early 1940s, and Taylor sweepingly charts Cassie's life in the years to come. She relocates from Mississippi to Toledo, Ohio, where her brother, Stacey, has moved as part of the Great Migration. She then moves to California, where she falls in love and marries. Pregnant, she experiences twin tragedies that propel her to law school. Graduating, she joins a white law firm in Boston where the (white) son of one of the partners falls in love with her and proposes, raising the issue of interracial marriage. Having now reached the '60s, Cassie joins the civil rights movement to her peril. Obviously, her story is paradigmatic, a brilliant dramatization of Black life in America during the 1940s, '50s, and '60s. Taylor is unsparing in her depiction of the years of segregation and of the Black experience of white racism, bigotry, and injustice. Written in a spare, unadorned style that matches the material and propels the narrative forward, this never-didactic book is irresistibly readable, while the richly realized, highly empathic characters are unforgettable. Taylor's remarkable novel is, in sum, that rare exception: an absolutely indispensable book.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2019, American Library Association.)

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