Crooked Hallelujah (Hardcover)

Staff Pick Badge
Crooked Hallelujah Cover Image
$26.00
On Our Shelves Now
2 on hand, as of Aug 9 4:15am
(FICTION--GENERAL)

Staff Reviews


Connected short stories follow multiple generations of Cherokee women. Life can be hard but love and blood runs deep. Lula turns to the oppressive Holiness Church after her husband drains the bank account and leaves her to raise three daughters. The youngest Justine is date raped at fifteen and is forced to give up any future to raise her daughter. She runs away from Oklahoma to Bonita, Texas where her somewhat husband grew up and his parents remain. Remey, the equally strong minded daughter grows up and away. Natural and human caused disasters abound. What shines through it all is a sense of love between mothers and daughters.

— Valerie

July 2020 Indie Next List


“This astonishing debut fills the imagination with vivid scenes of life in Oklahoma’s Cherokee Nation and in the oil country of Texas. Home can be hard to find, men can be forever unreliable, and poverty can be more brutal than the harsh rural landscape, but the bonds women form with their mothers, grandmothers, and daughters make life not just bearable but luminous. This is an astonishing debut novel, rich in Cherokee history and culture, full-bodied in terms of character, and as bighearted as the women it portrays.”
— Betsy Burton, The King's English Bookshop, Salt Lake City, UT

Description


It's 1974 in the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and fifteen-year-old Justine grows up in a family of tough, complicated, and loyal women, presided over by her mother, Lula, and Granny. After Justine's father abandoned the family, Lula became a devout member of the Holiness Church - a community that Justine at times finds stifling and terrifying. But Justine does her best as a devoted daughter, until an act of violence sends her on a different path forever.

Crooked Hallelujah tells the stories of Justine--a mixed-blood Cherokee woman-- and her daughter, Reney, as they move from Eastern Oklahoma's Indian Country in the hopes of starting a new, more stable life in Texas amid the oil bust of the 1980s. However, life in Texas isn't easy, and Reney feels unmoored from her family in Indian Country. Against the vivid backdrop of the Red River, we see their struggle to survive in a world--of unreliable men and near-Biblical natural forces, like wildfires and tornados--intent on stripping away their connections to one another and their very ideas of home.

In lush and empathic prose, Kelli Jo Ford depicts what this family of proud, stubborn, Cherokee women sacrifice for those they love, amid larger forces of history, religion, class, and culture. This is a big-hearted and ambitious novel of the powerful bonds between mothers and daughters by an exquisite and rare new talent.



Product Details
ISBN: 9780802149121
ISBN-10: 080214912X
Publisher: Grove Press
Publication Date: July 14th, 2020
Pages: 304
Language: English