Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Book Review: Deed So by Katharine A. Russell

Deed SoDeed So by Katharine A. Russell
Publisher: CreateSpace
Publish Date: November 18, 2010
Paperback, 438 pages
Fiction, Historical

My Review:
Why I read this: It sounded like an interesting premise in a time much more closer to my lifetime in history than a lot of historical fiction.  I couldn't help but be intrigued by a coming-of-age story focusing on a 12-year-old in the early 1960s.

My thoughts:  I love and understood Haddie, you could take her adn place her in any other controversial time in history and she would fit, but she does make the race struggles come to life in this book.  I like how it is told simply through her eyes.  She is smart for a 12-year-old and she does know things and hungers to know even more and escape from the small town she's trapped in and that's all before she witnesses the murder of a black teen.  Then the book really comes to life.

I feel Ms. Russell does a wonderful job handling this time in history, before JFK was shot, during the Cuban Missle Crisis, when Vietnam was just starting and in the midst of African Americans fighting for equal rights.  It was a true turning point in our history and I feel Ms. Russell captures this very well in this story.

I could not put it down, from the first page I was enthralled by Haddie, her crush, her friendliness with a neighboring black woman who was nanny/housekeeper for another family and her relationships within her own family.  I also loved her inquisitiveness.  Add in the murder, the history and this book really flies by.

If you enjoy the 1960s and things that deal with race relations or coming-of-age stories then this is a book for you.  I loved the movie Mississippi Burning when I was a teenager in the 1980s, well not love, but it really opened my eyes even though I didn't live in that time.  This book does that as well.  It opens our eyes to this time in history and see some of the injustice that was just being brought to life.  I think Ms. Russell handles this sensitive subject in a wonderful way.  I also think she has a gift at keeping a reader enticed and engaged in her book.  Describing scenes and scenery with flair but without too much detail to overwhelm.  I can't recommend this book enough.

My Rating: 4.5/5.0

About the Book:

Welcome to 1962, one year before the world would witness President John F. Kennedy assassinated, and a time before civil rights, women’s rights, and the Vietnam War changed everything. Deed So by Katharine Russell chronicles the coming-of-age of brainy twelve-year-old Haddie Bashford, a sensitive young girl who wants nothing more than to leave the close-minded world of her home in Wicomico Corners. When Haddie witnesses the killing of a black teen by a down-on-his-luck white farmer, her family becomes embroiled in a web of hatred that threatens to engulf the whole town. Tempers flare and prejudice heats to a boiling point, even as Haddie struggles to fully comprehend what is going on, especially the dark consequences within her own family. When the murder case goes to trial, neighbor is pitted against neighbor, and the violence escalates to a dangerous level. As the case drags on, arson erupts, paralyzing the community. Can the town—and Haddie—survive?

Intertwining the major themes of struggle, equality, loyalty, and love that defined a generation, Deed So is a provocative snapshot of a tense time in history. Filled with larger-than-life characters, pitch perfect dialogue, and a wonderful sense of history, Deed So is as moving as it is thrilling. Haunting, edgy, and thought-provoking, this is a perfect read for fans of To Kill a Mockingbird or Nicholas Sparks.

About the Author: 
Kath Russell enjoyed over thirty-five years in marketing and communications management in the biotechnology industry. She was an executive with one of the first genetic engineering companies. Russell also was president of Russell-Welsh Strategic Life Science Communications, Inc., and founder and chief executive officer of an ecommerce company offering services for mature companion animals and veterinarians. Russell received her bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University, her master’s degree in journalism from Boston University, her master’s of business administration from the Kellogg School of Management, and earned her certificate in creative writing from the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program.

To find out more about Kath or to learn more about  Deed So visit or

FTC Information: I received this book from the author through Pump Up Your Book Promotion for a honest review.  I have Amazon links on my review pages but I do not make any money from these because of NC laws.  I put them solely for people to check out the books on a retail site.


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