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Book details
  • SubGenre:Love & Romance
  • Language:English
  • Series title:Tall Cotton Rising
  • Series Number:1
  • Pages:228
  • eBook ISBN:9781483578255
  • Paperback ISBN:9781483578248

Where Dew Drops Shine Bright

A Dramatized Family History

by Reginald C. Holmes

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Where Dew Drops Shine Bright is a fictionalized memoir of the authors’ own family and ancestors. Spanning the early 1900s, Mr. Holmes skillfully tells the story of three generations of strong women who live amid danger, poverty, and domestic abuse. The story opens with two women and a man making a deal that will forever impact their families. As the book progresses, Reginald Holmes’ stories of romance, family relationships, heartbreak and survival in rural Mississippi becomes an interwoven tale of the experiences and triumphs each generation passes down for the next to build upon. This is an inspiring and powerful tale of family and struggle; and picking up the pieces.

This story chronicles the lives of three generations of black women in the deep south in the early 1900s.  It is based upon real people and real events revealed through interviews with the author's elder family members, several of whom ascended to ‘Glory’ shortly before this book was finished. Yet, with details long forgotten or taken to the grave, the author uses his research of the era and area along with poetic license to ‘tell the story’ of his ancestors. Mr. Holmes begins each chapter with a certain year.  In order to refresh our memories, he provides a brief list of the current events, including the number of those lynched in Mississippi during that year.  It was horrific and dangerous to be African American, poor and under educated, living in an environment ruled by legal racial segregation.  Yet still, many African American families not only survived, but thrived to raise strong willed, ambitious, self-confident children with sound Christian values.  The author’s family is but one. 

Reginald Holmes puts you right smack in the middle of his family, and black history in general, with the characters southern dialect and the descriptive setting of every scene. Moreover, he adeptly interweaves within the dialogue common activities of the era.  For instance, slaughtering a hog, home remedies like ‘pine needle’ and ‘cow chip’ teas, applying a muscle ointment made from bacon fat and a mother teaching her young daughters how to clean chitlins.  Mr. Holmes relays a story of faith, of triumph, of making it, and most importantly, of family. The Hollinshed family, both factual and dramatized, are an amazing lot who fought many hardships to end up with a fantastic tale of family and determination to do better, to be better, and to make better for future generations. The story is easy to follow, believable and complimented by crisp and engaging writing.

Reading actual first-person stories, albeit fictionalized, of life during the era of legal segregation and discrimination will be inspiring to many, especially after learning how far the family comes through with grit, determination, and respect for a formal education.  Readers will also appreciate the collection of old family photographs that really bring this narrative to life. 

About the author

One day Reginald ask his mother, “So how did you like growing up in Mississippi during the 1940s?” Aware of the ‘Jim Crow’ racial segregation laws of the era, he expects to receive an earful of awfulness. Instead, she replies, “I loved it.” Curious to know why, he began a three-year quest to make sense of his mother's answer. The product of his journey, Where Dew Drops Shine Bright, is his debut novel. Reginald enjoys spending his leisure time with family and friends and taking long walks along the beaches of Southern California.

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