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Anne Aletha: The Story of a Suffragist’s Fight against Racism and the Klan during WWI

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Meet Anne Aletha, who fought for equality for all … in 1918. Amid World War I, the Spanish Influenza, and a reemerging Ku Klux Klan, a young unconventional schoolteacher inherits her uncle’s cash-strapped farm in the Deep South with the intention of opening a school to educate all children. Her ambitions and her courage to challenge the racial injustice she witnesses plung Meet Anne Aletha, who fought for equality for all … in 1918. Amid World War I, the Spanish Influenza, and a reemerging Ku Klux Klan, a young unconventional schoolteacher inherits her uncle’s cash-strapped farm in the Deep South with the intention of opening a school to educate all children. Her ambitions and her courage to challenge the racial injustice she witnesses plunge herself and those she loves into the violence of the Klan.


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Meet Anne Aletha, who fought for equality for all … in 1918. Amid World War I, the Spanish Influenza, and a reemerging Ku Klux Klan, a young unconventional schoolteacher inherits her uncle’s cash-strapped farm in the Deep South with the intention of opening a school to educate all children. Her ambitions and her courage to challenge the racial injustice she witnesses plung Meet Anne Aletha, who fought for equality for all … in 1918. Amid World War I, the Spanish Influenza, and a reemerging Ku Klux Klan, a young unconventional schoolteacher inherits her uncle’s cash-strapped farm in the Deep South with the intention of opening a school to educate all children. Her ambitions and her courage to challenge the racial injustice she witnesses plunge herself and those she loves into the violence of the Klan.

32 review for Anne Aletha: The Story of a Suffragist’s Fight against Racism and the Klan during WWI

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kara Hansen

    Thank you to NetGalley and Ardent Writer Press for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. An historical fiction story that takes place in 1918 in the deep south of Georgia. As WWI is nearing the end, Anne Aletha travels to Ray Mills, Georgia where her favourite Uncle Carter has bequeathed her his land and small ranch home. Anne's goal is to start up a one room school house where she has intentions to become the new teacher in town. While the war is going on, the Deep South is a Thank you to NetGalley and Ardent Writer Press for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. An historical fiction story that takes place in 1918 in the deep south of Georgia. As WWI is nearing the end, Anne Aletha travels to Ray Mills, Georgia where her favourite Uncle Carter has bequeathed her his land and small ranch home. Anne's goal is to start up a one room school house where she has intentions to become the new teacher in town. While the war is going on, the Deep South is a place of strong racial tensions and the emergence of the KKK. Anne is witness on a few occasions of the awful treatment of the black folk in town. She is not afraid to voice her objections~ but each time she does there is a consequence. While I enjoyed the writing of this author, I found that the plot really struggled to get off the ground. It was hard at times to keep track of the various characters, and there was little development of the said characters. This weakened the book, which I think had a lot of potential. I did appreciate the author's notes at the beginning where she explained the background of the story ideas and what changes she made as she wrote. On a side note~ in this book the Spanish Flu pandemic was taking place! Interesting as so many of the initial reactions were the same- lockdown, mask shortage, etc.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ann

    Anne Aletha: A Much Needed Book for Our Times This work of historical fiction comes at a time in our country where we are struggling with a pandemic and long-endured racism--and it, too, depicts the impact of pandemic and racism in a small, Southern town in 1918 Georgia, with World War I also concurrent. This is a read which calls for our participation. Camille N. Wright, an author who evidences her attention to historical accuracy and passion for equality, draws us as readers into a world so Anne Aletha: A Much Needed Book for Our Times This work of historical fiction comes at a time in our country where we are struggling with a pandemic and long-endured racism--and it, too, depicts the impact of pandemic and racism in a small, Southern town in 1918 Georgia, with World War I also concurrent. This is a read which calls for our participation. Camille N. Wright, an author who evidences her attention to historical accuracy and passion for equality, draws us as readers into a world so well described that we feel alive and present in it. One feels with Anne Aletha what it's like to hear that a male is more entitled to real estate ownership than a female; what it's like to set intentions to rightfully include People of Color in education and property ownership and then be shunned by one's town community; what it's like to feel unsupported by town community while standing up to others who are racist; what it's like as a female to have no right to vote. One can also feel with Anne Aletha her responses to what makes us human: what it's like to reposition oneself to get a good night's sleep, looking for a cool spot on the mattress on a hot summer night; to delight in the antics of a beloved pet or a creature in nature (nature's flora and fauna are prominent characters in this work); to feel the visceral response to someone attractive; to self-question and worry; to survive being a single, young, equality-minded female newcomer in an established, rural, small South Georgia town. This is a rare glimpse into real life in the 1918 rural South, through fictional Anne Aletha's experience. We learn that it is in this very same, everyday existence, where activism happens. We observe it even as it jumps off the pages into our own lives. We also see that this is only a glimpse, and that her story continues even after the book is over--just as our story continues. Like real-life, what unfolds here may seem simple and subtle, beginning with only an idea of teaching school to all children. Then ideas become actions, which have much larger repercussions: the KKK threatening life and livelihood not just for Anne Aletha, but for her Black friends as well; and "polite" racists in most of the town shunning the newcomer teacher. We see White Privilege exposed as a systemic, institutionalized, socially-sanctioned evil: it is a theme throughout this book, as it has been a theme throughout human history; and it is a theme to be addressed most certainly now in our times. Anne Aletha, as she partners with Nellie and Alex, show us that one can make a difference in the little things: supporting each other, not giving up hope, and acting in kindness and love. Wright challenges our belief systems with all of her characters, and we witness how those beliefs and values may clash. We begin wondering about our own pasts: back to our own ancestors in 1918, and those even before that, who handed down family values to their children, and then to their children, all the way to us in this current moment. For this reader and perhaps others, these handed-down beliefs and behaviors have included racism. For some, it could be so ingrained that there is no awareness of racist thoughts and behaviors at all. Can Anne Aletha help us to see what this looks like, see it perhaps in ourselves, maybe motivate us to change, if we open to this book's offering? Wright sometimes falls back on the Greek philosophers, such as when Anne Aletha has philosophical discussions with her uncle. What is true and good in a society never grows old as a topic, and it surely applies in current times. For us today, it is vital, as an ongoing step toward actions to promote justice, righteousness, equality, and safety for People of Color, and every gender, orientation, ability, nationality, race, belief....and including the environment itself. Anne Aletha is accessible, not too long--with current-event-relevant themes, colorful descriptions of a WWI era, and an engaging story. It is well-suited for book club discussion, and includes questions to start group dialogue (or personal reflection) in the back of the book. It is a worthy read.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie DeMoss

    Anne Aletha is the story of a girl who goes to take care of her late uncle’s farm in the early 1900s while her brother is off fighting in WW1. I struggled to connect with the characters. I they were all flat and not very well developed. Anne Aletha encounters racism and the KKK in this small town and is outraged, but that storyline seemed to go nowhere. She is attracted, I guess, to someone and has a sexual encounter, but that storyline goes nowhere. The most interesting part was the flu epidemic Anne Aletha is the story of a girl who goes to take care of her late uncle’s farm in the early 1900s while her brother is off fighting in WW1. I struggled to connect with the characters. I they were all flat and not very well developed. Anne Aletha encounters racism and the KKK in this small town and is outraged, but that storyline seemed to go nowhere. She is attracted, I guess, to someone and has a sexual encounter, but that storyline goes nowhere. The most interesting part was the flu epidemic that hit the town, probably because of the pandemic we are going through now. The characters did not really grow or change, and I truly do not know the point of this story. I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley. My review is voluntary.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    Rather disappointing. The story of a pretty naive 23 year old woman who travels to a small farm she's inheirited from her uncle in 1918, with the intent of returning it to profitability as well as teaching the local children, both black and white. There is good writing here, evoking the time and place--particularly in terms of several "how it's done" sequences--how to make lye soap for instance, but there are a few 20-buck words sprinkied in unnecessarily as well. While the story purports to be Rather disappointing. The story of a pretty naive 23 year old woman who travels to a small farm she's inheirited from her uncle in 1918, with the intent of returning it to profitability as well as teaching the local children, both black and white. There is good writing here, evoking the time and place--particularly in terms of several "how it's done" sequences--how to make lye soap for instance, but there are a few 20-buck words sprinkied in unnecessarily as well. While the story purports to be about Anne Aletha standing up to the racism that permeates this Georgia community, the historically-based lynchings that occur near the start of the book happen off the page, and, sadly, the Afriucan-American characters are largely just placeholders rather than fully developed. And, of course, the elephant in the manuscript: yet aother story of US racism and brutalties from the point-of-view of a white character. Not that it *couldn't* work, it just doesn't here. World War I and the flu pandemic are mostly used to demonstrate how stalwart Anne Aletha is meant to be. Oh, and kinda unbelievable obligatory sexual encounter is thrown in as well and quickly dispensed with. So, not a sucess for me. A copy of this book was provided for free from the publisher through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Katherine Hembree

    I really enjoyed Anne Aletha. We have family from south Georgia so the towns were familiar to me and the stories sounded like some of the stories I grew up hearing from my grandparents. Anne Aletha is a good, strong character. Several of the other characters were endearing too. I hope the author will write Book 2 because I want to know what happens next!!!!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Betsy Gully

    Description: “Meet Anne Aletha, who fought for equality for all … in 1918. Amid World War I, the Spanish Influenza, and a re-emerging Ku Klux Klan, a young unconventional schoolteacher inherits her uncle’s farm in the Deep South with the intentions of opening a school to educate all children—rich or poor, black or white. Her ambitions and her courage to challenge the systematic racial injustice she witnesses daily plunge herself and those she loves into the violence of the Klan.” I was expecting Description: “Meet Anne Aletha, who fought for equality for all … in 1918. Amid World War I, the Spanish Influenza, and a re-emerging Ku Klux Klan, a young unconventional schoolteacher inherits her uncle’s farm in the Deep South with the intentions of opening a school to educate all children—rich or poor, black or white. Her ambitions and her courage to challenge the systematic racial injustice she witnesses daily plunge herself and those she loves into the violence of the Klan.” I was expecting a lot more depth from this story. Having read the description I guess I focused on the promised KKK aspect and thought I’d read more about that, but it was a small part of the story and basically consisted of Anne Aletha of standing up and walking out of church. You can read my full review here: https://wordsandcaffeine.blogspot.com...

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kristi Amdur

    An interesting take on life during the segregated South. A suffragette from the North inherits a house in the South and is shocked by the Southern mindset. This is relatable and easy to read.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    This historical novel set in rural South Georgia in 1918 eerily resonates with events unfolding today: the Spanish Flu epidemic, vigilante justice, inequality of the races, women's struggles to be heard and counted, and the terrors of war and military action. These are all taking place in the period the book is set as they are also similarly unfolding in our presence today. Th heroine, Anne Aletha, inherits the old farm that her uncle owned in Ray's Mill, GA. He mentored her, first by guiding he This historical novel set in rural South Georgia in 1918 eerily resonates with events unfolding today: the Spanish Flu epidemic, vigilante justice, inequality of the races, women's struggles to be heard and counted, and the terrors of war and military action. These are all taking place in the period the book is set as they are also similarly unfolding in our presence today. Th heroine, Anne Aletha, inherits the old farm that her uncle owned in Ray's Mill, GA. He mentored her, first by guiding her reading through classic literature, establishing in her a love of the Greek philosophers whose words on justice and ignorance continue to resonate as well as encouraging her education to become a teacher. When he dies he leaves her his farm which has fallen into neglect and she must again establish as she also tries to open a school for children in the community. Anne Aletha's sense of social justice leads her into dangerous conflict with some members of the community, chief among them being the resurrected Klu Klux Klan meting out justice as they see themselves safeguarding the community while so many of the town’s men are overseas fighting in WWI. She also battles her own newly awakened passions as she is attracted to the twin brothers, Patten and Neville, who are vastly different in temperament, but as neighbors and friends help her settle into the town and safeguard her through troubling events. Anne Aletha is an illuminating story that informs us with details of life as it was in the deep south 100 years ago. It reminds us of how many things do not change such as injustice and ignorance, but that the minutia of living does vastly change through progress and technology to make our lives much easier in today's world. It is an enlightening read that will entertain the reader.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kent Miller

  10. 4 out of 5

    Cantey P. Davis

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mimi

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

  13. 5 out of 5

    Alison

  14. 5 out of 5

    Eileen

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Rourke

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jean Marie Roe

  17. 5 out of 5

    Charles Eliot

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mary

  19. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

  20. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

  21. 4 out of 5

    Betsy

  22. 5 out of 5

    Katelyn Potter

  23. 4 out of 5

    Becky

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ann

  25. 4 out of 5

    Babette Ryther

  26. 4 out of 5

    Dolores

  27. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  28. 5 out of 5

    Igrowastreesgrow

  29. 4 out of 5

    Maozamom

  30. 4 out of 5

    Patti McWhorter

  31. 4 out of 5

    Mary

  32. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl Derijke

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