DESCENDANTS OF HAGAR
“Descendants of Hagar,” is historical fiction about a woman coming to terms with her sexuality beginning in 1914 Zion, Georgia, during the Black Codes. When Negroes were lynched for one wrong glance. A time when marriage was an agreement between men: a woman’s father and the man he chose for her. Most women had no romantic interest in their future husbands. In the worst case, they were promised to complete strangers.
Madelyn “Linny” Remington is the great-great granddaughter of strong-spirited, ex-slave, Miemay, who oversees her rearing. While other women are raised to be broken, Linny is reared to build and repair. When other women are expected to be seen and not heard, Linny is expected to vote beside men. While women pray to honor their husbands by bearing them sons, Linny wonders how a single woman can provide for herself, when only male children can expect an inheritance.
A secret has Linny slated as her father’s favorite “son.” That is, until Linny makes a promise that frees her from a conventional woman’s role. Unfortunately, the promise also brings shame on her family. Will Linny, threatened with alienation, honor her promise? Or bow to her father’s will and go back on her word?
There are so many layers to unravel in Descendants of Hagar, and Nicholson has done her research to tie them in a vibrant arrangement. Linny’s strong voice brings to life a woman’s sexuality in a post-Reconstruction era novel and all the challenges it brings... Sistahs Onthe Shelf
It wasn't at all what I expected. We didn't realize that the main character was going to be a lesbian when we chose the book for our group. I initially regretted this book and planned to read just enough to participate in my group's discussion. The story pulled me in. I'm not as old as Linny, but I grew up on a farm in the south. So many of her struggles were challenges for all southern young women coming of age. I identified with Linny and Coley. In the end, I admired Linny's courage. The Texas African American Reading Circle