The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration - Isabel Wilkerson NO SPOILERS!!!

Through page 72: I am finding this book both intellectually interesting and emotionally gripping. That is exactly what I have been looking for. The book focuses on the life of thre blacks: Ida Mae who emigrated from Mississippi to Chicago in 1937, George who fled from Florida to NY in 1945 and finally Robert Pershing who left in 1953 seeking to establish himself in California. The book follow these three individual and others for 100 years, during two world wars, the Depression and the events that will lead to the crumbling of the JIm Crow laws and the southern caste system. I want to be emotionally moved; only in this way can I come to understand their experiences. Along the way I want to learn how America has been impacted by black history. I am not disappointed so far,

But wait...... this is what I think after reading more and more and more.

I did not finish this book, quite simply because what I want right now in a book is to sink into another world. This is what I am looking for right now; this didn't fill the bill. I read more than half, so I feel I can tell you what I observed to help you decide if you want to read it. Although the book focuses on three main people, as stated above, there are so many other stories and details and examples of all the injustices experienced by the blacks in the US beginning at the turn of the 19th century that I became distracted and could not focus on the three individuals.

I know this sounds bizarre, but it was too comprehensive. Someone is sure to protest and say that all these facts, all these injustices must be stated so the reader understands how it really was for the blacks living under the Jim Crow laws. Of course such a protest has some truth, but you can overdo anything. All the injustices listed one after the other were just hard to swallow, and I found them distracting. These historical section were thrown in between the sections on the lives of Ida, George and Robert. In addition, I found myself less interested in Robert than in the other two. So there goes one third of my interest out the window. I feel the book should have focused more on the three individuals and skipped some of the other historical details.

I am not saying I disliked this book. I am not saying it isn't terribly interesting, but it really didn't draw me in. That was the kind of book I was searching for. Some of the events told are horrible, and thus moving, but the historical sections are comprised of facts and histories and events piled on top of each other. In these sections the reader is not shown, but told and told and told. You will learn a lot from the book, but it is still predominantly a "history book". Other history books have pulled me in more. A superb history book I cannot put down. Before you pick up this book be sure you are in the mood for a long, detailed, in-depth recounting of black people's history.

Maybe this book does deserve four stars, but it didn't fit what I really thoght I would get, so I gave it three.