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Beulah Hill Book Review Summary

Detailed Plot Synopsis of Beulah Hill


William Hefferman
Simon & Schuster, Feb 2001, 25.00, 301 pp.
ISBN: 0684862263

    Jerusalem's Landing has a fascinating history when it comes to blacks and slavery starting before the Civil War began. Blacks remained on the property of their owners, but their children were set free at sixteen for girls and eighteen for boys. These free blacks worked on farms and as house servants. A shortage of white females led to many interracial marriages. The descendants of these unions are considered white or bleached.

    By 1933, there remained only two families of purebred blacks and both resided on BEULAH HILL. When one of the town's white bad boys was found dead in the woods near Beaulah Hill, many residents believed that one of the Blacks killed the lad. Constable Samuel Bradley, a bleached white and a lifelong recipient of racism, accompanies his boss Sheriff French Le May as they look for a murderer and struggle to keep a vigilante mob from killing someone in the name of justice.

    This work provides an appealing gaze at a small Vermont town during the Great depression and Prohibition. The undercurrent of bigotry is depressing, but an accurate depiction of the period. Though well done, the murder mystery stays in the rear as William Hefferman writes his best work to date, a historical novel that will bring him much acclaim to an already stellar career.

Harriet Klausner
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner








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Chapter Analysis of Beulah Hill

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Plot & Themes

Tone of story    -   depressing/sad How difficult to spot villain?    -   Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues Time/era of story:    -   1930's-1950's What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   30% Special suspect?    -   chronically deranged person Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   Proving innocence of very obvious suspect Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   police/lawman

Setting

United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast Small town?    -   Yes Small town people:    -   dumb rednecks, like Gomer Pyle

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Unusual forms of death    -   perforation--swords/knives Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Beulah Hill

William Heffernan Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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