Family Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Family

Clora tells the story of hardships she faced as a slave on a southern plantation. Clora, an enslaved African-American woman tells the story of how she bore ten children, nine for her the man that enslaved her. He sold all of them away when they turned reached the age of three. The tenth child was the Clora, her father is a black man. She never gave up his name for fear that he would be sold. The slave owner put her mama and her near the big house so he could claim her mama for himself again. His wife hated mother and daughter alike and made their lives even more of a living hell.
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Clora's mama got tired of being used and abused and when the slave owner turned her over to bed his young son she wanted to die. With the need to have some degree of control over her body she stabbed the slave owner to death and then stuck the same knife in her gut. Then she died.

Clora couldn't even cry. She just felt tired. Her mother was the only person who had ever loved her. Now she was alone. Clora is impregnated by the young new owner (the son) her mama refused to lay with. The mistress still hates Clora and calls her a twelve-year-old slut. She forgets that her son like her husband has an affinity for black women. Clora named her baby girl Always as a promise to the little baby with no future other than working herself to death for free, that her mama would always love her. She also bore him a son, white in skin tone whom he beat on a regular basis.

The men Clora wanted to love wouldn't come near her they knew she was claimed by the young owner. She hated him. The young owner took a wife who was determined to keep her wandering husband home. When he didn't show the female slaves had hell to pay.

The mistress came at Clora slapping her in the face after she looks at her half-white baby. Then she takes a poker to her and Clora grabs it. Clora knows that the two of them are in hell together because her man won't stay home. She also knows her life is over as of the minute she grabbed the poker and raised it to strike back in self-defense.

She boils poison weeds to kill herself and her babies. She knows what is in store for them. They survive she dies and watches over them. Clora watches from above and learns that twenty years later she would have been free.

Clora's children Always and Sun took their father's coloring and could pass for white, which infuriated the mistress even more. Peach and Plum the youngest two may have missed their mother less since they had less time with her. When people tried to ride Always and Sun about their coloring they always stood up for their mama. It wasn't her fault she was raped.

Loretta one of the owner's daughters takes a liking to Sun. He is her half-brother and she doesn't have the same evil spirit as her parents. When her mother calls him the n word she tells her that he is her brother. Her mother slaps her across the room and hates Sun more.

Loretta finds him in the fields and ask him what he would like as a forever gift. He tells her he wants to learn to read. It took a few years but everything letter Sun learned he passed on to Always, Peach, and Plum.

Loretta helps Sun escape. Peach is sold to rich man who marries her. Their children are all professionals with degrees. Sun marries a French woman and his children are also well educated. Clora can finally rest.
Best part of story, including ending: I liked that Clora was able to give her children her heart before she died.

Best scene in story: My favorite scene was Clora grabbing the poker and raising it in self-defense.

Opinion about the main character: I like Clora for her ability to give hope when her struggles were beyond imaginable. a aving

The review of this Book prepared by C. Imani Williams a Level 13 Blue-Winged Teal scholar

Chapter Analysis of Family

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   very sensitive (sigh) Time/era of story    -   1600-1899 Political/social activism    -   Yes Plotlet:    -   slavery Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   slave Ethnicity/Nationality    -   Black (American)


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   3 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Deep South

Writing Style

Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   rape/molest Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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J. California Cooper Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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