Mustard Seed
The bestselling author of Yellow Crocus returns with a haunting and tender story of three women returning to the plantation they once called home.Oberlin, Ohio, 1868. Lisbeth Johnson was born into privilege in the antebellum South. Jordan Freedman was born a slave to Mattie, Lisbeth’s beloved nurse. The women have an unlikely bond deeper than friendship. Three years after the Civil War, Lisbeth and Mattie are tending their homes and families while Jordan, an aspiring suffragette, teaches at an integrated school.When Lisbeth discovers that her father is dying, she’s summoned back to the Virginia plantation where she grew up. There she must face the Confederate family she betrayed by marrying an abolitionist. Jordan and Mattie return to Fair Oaks, too, to save the family they left behind, who still toil in oppression. For Lisbeth, it’s a time for reconciliation. For Jordan and Mattie, it’s time for liberation.As the Johnsons and Freedmans confront the injustice that binds them, as well as the bitterness and violence that seethes at its heart, the women must find the courage to free their families—and themselves—from the past.

Mustard Seed Details

TitleMustard Seed
Author
ReleaseNov 7th, 2017
PublisherLake Union Publishing
ISBN-139781542045568
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Military History, Civil War

Mustard Seed Review

  • Sepani
    January 1, 1970
    I received this copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.Mustard seed is a wonderful novel that captured my heart. This story conveys how people had created disparities between their skin color and how the slavery in past America had created a harsh background for the dark skinned people.The author has managed to express the strong bond between Lisbeth (fair skinned) and Mattie (dark skinned and Lisbeth's beloved nurse) and how they had overcome their obstacles by b I received this copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.Mustard seed is a wonderful novel that captured my heart. This story conveys how people had created disparities between their skin color and how the slavery in past America had created a harsh background for the dark skinned people.The author has managed to express the strong bond between Lisbeth (fair skinned) and Mattie (dark skinned and Lisbeth's beloved nurse) and how they had overcome their obstacles by being together. The story coveys about the faith and belief that one should have in one's heart regardless of the skin color.A lovely story.
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  • Elizabeth
    January 1, 1970
    What an incredible book! And I mean that sincerely! I would give "Mustard Seed" 10 stars if I could. This book is so apropos to what is going on in our country today. It gave me a lot to think about personally and a huge amount of "uncomfortableness" (I know that's not a word) with the world I live in. The story itself takes place in post Civil War in Ohio and Virginia thus showing the differences between North and South after the War. I will not go into specifics because I had none when I start What an incredible book! And I mean that sincerely! I would give "Mustard Seed" 10 stars if I could. This book is so apropos to what is going on in our country today. It gave me a lot to think about personally and a huge amount of "uncomfortableness" (I know that's not a word) with the world I live in. The story itself takes place in post Civil War in Ohio and Virginia thus showing the differences between North and South after the War. I will not go into specifics because I had none when I started and think it is well worth going in with no expectations. I suggest reading the author's first book first, "Yellow Crocus." The characters and story will make much more sense. But it is a book everyone should read. It is a part of US history come to life.Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for the opportunity to read and provide an honest review of this book.
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  • Myrna
    January 1, 1970
    It was a good post-Civil War story of injustice, freedom and faith. Started slow and some parts of the plot didn't work for me but some parts were entertaining and nail biting. The first book, Yellow Crocus was better imho.
  • Jultri
    January 1, 1970
    3.5/5. Interesting story about 3 women returning back to Richmond, Virginia, 3 years after the end of the Civil War. Lisbeth Johnson left her wealthy family and plantation behind 18 years earlier when she ended her family-endorsed engagement to another plantation owner to marry an abolitionist and fellow Virginian. She and her husband left her acrimonious family behind to move to Ohio where he fought under the Union flag and where they are bringing up their young children in a loving and peacefu 3.5/5. Interesting story about 3 women returning back to Richmond, Virginia, 3 years after the end of the Civil War. Lisbeth Johnson left her wealthy family and plantation behind 18 years earlier when she ended her family-endorsed engagement to another plantation owner to marry an abolitionist and fellow Virginian. She and her husband left her acrimonious family behind to move to Ohio where he fought under the Union flag and where they are bringing up their young children in a loving and peaceful environment, living and working in proximity with people of colour including former slaves such as her old nurse, Mattie Freedman and Mattie's family. With news of her father dying, Lisbeth takes her children back to visit her family after years of estrangement. Coincidentally, Mattie decides to take her two adult children back to Richmond to persuade her cousin to join them, as cousin Sally still remains on the plantation in oppressed servitude despite the supposed freedom to all slaves brought about by the end of the war. Through their eyes, we see that cruelty, racism and injustice remains long after the war, fueled by the resentment and anger of plantation owners who had lost money, loved ones and sometimes own limbs and physical health to the ravages of the war and who therefore sought to avenge their losses and pride on those 'slaves' remaining behind, too weak, too intimidated, too stunned to leave. And even when they had the courage to leave, the law did little to protect their proclaimed freedom, not when the law was meted out by white plantation owners themselves. The history is fascinating, describing a horrible time not very frequently covered in stories. It is chilling to learn that the atrocities committed against slaves and former slaves in the South continued long after the Thirteenth Amendment was passed because there were no one to enforce the new law. While this book tells an important story, the tone of the book is too factual and unsentimental for a novel. Coupled this with some less than realistic plot twists, it makes for a somewhat uneven read. I don't think this book is classified as Christian Fiction, although it probably ought to be as there is a fair bit of references to faith and God.
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  • Deanne Patterson
    January 1, 1970
    This is the second book in the series after Yellow Crocus. It's great to catch up with the family and how things are now. When Lisbeth Johnson,who was born into privilege in the antebellum South is called back home by her mother she must go,her father is dying. She is estranged from her family, their beliefs are not her own and she made a clean break when she married. Her family believes in slavery and all that entails and she knows it's wrong. Family is family though,blood is thicker than water This is the second book in the series after Yellow Crocus. It's great to catch up with the family and how things are now. When Lisbeth Johnson,who was born into privilege in the antebellum South is called back home by her mother she must go,her father is dying. She is estranged from her family, their beliefs are not her own and she made a clean break when she married. Her family believes in slavery and all that entails and she knows it's wrong. Family is family though,blood is thicker than water and attend to her dying father she must . Her conscience won't let her deny her family. Once home she must face the Confederate family she betrayed by marrying an abolitionist. Characters we met in the first book Jordan and Mattie return to Fair Oaks, too, to save the family they left behind, who still toil in oppression. Family is not just family by blood,it's also by adoption and marriage. Oftentimes,as it's shown in this book the children,even the adult children don't comprehend or appreciate the hardships and sacrifices their parents have gone through to make sure their children have a better life than them.Amazing book! I look forward to reading more by this author! Pub Date 07 Nov 2017 Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for a review copy in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Beth Sponzilli
    January 1, 1970
    This is the follow up book to Yellow Crocus. The same great writing as the first, and is the continuation of Lisbeth’s and Mattie’s lives in Ohio and back to the south after the Civil War. They realize how not all freed blacks’ lives are changed for the good or at all.
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  • Lindsay Nixon
    January 1, 1970
    I’m so glad I read this book. It was the perfect selection for Black History Month. Given the subject matter, it’s too uncomfortable for me to say “I loved this book”. There are many difficult parts to the story, but the main theme is love and faith, which is what I enjoyed. I also felt reading this story helped further my education and understanding of American history. Although this is fiction, the story is not. There are thousands of people whose story was told here. I do not have a lot of ex I’m so glad I read this book. It was the perfect selection for Black History Month. Given the subject matter, it’s too uncomfortable for me to say “I loved this book”. There are many difficult parts to the story, but the main theme is love and faith, which is what I enjoyed. I also felt reading this story helped further my education and understanding of American history. Although this is fiction, the story is not. There are thousands of people whose story was told here. I do not have a lot of experience with what I’m calling “educational-political historical fiction.” This is more than a story that takes place during a certain time period. This novel explores many political and historical issues. (TBH, it shocked me how much we are still dealing with some of these issues today.)If you want to learn more about this part of American history (13th Amendment) but find history books or documentaries too dry (if you do best with narratives or fiction reading) this is a terrific choice and it will expose you too All sides, perspectives and beliefs held during this period.
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  • Kate Stulce
    January 1, 1970
    Minority opinionClearly I am in the minority here. But for me the storyline and characters were overshadowed by the history particularly in the first half of the book. The era is history that hasn't gotten a lot of attention and I found the book informative in that way. I just was disappointed that portions of the book seemed focused on educating the reader on the history instead of blending the history into the storyline.
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  • Joleen
    January 1, 1970
    Mustard Seed by Laila IbrahimGenre: Suspense, Christian Romance, Format: Audible AudiobookTimeframe: 1868Location: Oberlin, Ohio and Richmond, VACharacters: Lisbeth Johnson: Virginia native married to a NorthernerJordan Freedman: Born a slave shortly before the Civil War endedSamuel and Mattie: Jordan’s brother and motherMatthew Johnson: Lisbeth Johnson’s husband1868 - Two families travel to Richmond, VA. Brief synopsis which is a bit of a spoiler.(view spoiler)[Jordan, Mattie, and Samuel Freedm Mustard Seed by Laila IbrahimGenre: Suspense, Christian Romance, Format: Audible AudiobookTimeframe: 1868Location: Oberlin, Ohio and Richmond, VACharacters: Lisbeth Johnson: Virginia native married to a NorthernerJordan Freedman: Born a slave shortly before the Civil War endedSamuel and Mattie: Jordan’s brother and motherMatthew Johnson: Lisbeth Johnson’s husband1868 - Two families travel to Richmond, VA. Brief synopsis which is a bit of a spoiler.(view spoiler)[Jordan, Mattie, and Samuel Freedman had moved to Ohio when they were freed at the end of the Civil War. Jordan was a teacher at an integrated school in Oberlin, Ohio. Samuel, her brother, finished law school and was an attorney there. Mattie, their mother, had been a slave for years in Richmond, but now also free, living in Ohio. Mattie felt it was time for her children (Jordan and Samuel) to see where they were born and what they came from. Also, her mission was to collect dear ones she left behind who were stuck on the old plantation, living as unpaid servants. It was a dangerous mission as many in the South didn’t want their servants to rise above their previous station. Black men seen in town were being caught up in a false charge of vagrancy, ending as forced labor on plantations.At this same time, Lisbeth Johnson’s father was dying in Richmond, so she was returning for his last days. She had betrayed her Southern family by marrying a Northerner and moving away. Hoping her reunion would be a happy one she soon realized that was false hope. There was bitter resentment and unfounded blame for her family’s losses in Richmond. While there, the Freedmans and Lisbeth ran across each other. This was fortunate because Jordan and Mattie knew where she was when they needed her help desperately. Samuel had been caught up, and sent to work the fields at a nearby farm. (hide spoiler)]The trials of this family and of the Johnson’s assisting them was dangerous and heartbreaking, but one that taught them all a great deal about their blessings in Ohio.Very good audiobook, read by an amazing narrator. I was shocked, though, when an overseer used an expletive (taking God’s name in vain) that I wouldn’t have expected in Christian Fiction. I know times are changing, and many Christians feel language is no big deal, but I’m not one of them. I don’t appreciate it, even if it might have been realistic considering who was talking and how angry he was. That phrase in particular is terribly offensive to me.
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  • reneeNaDaBomb
    January 1, 1970
    Mustard SeedThis is a follow-up to a two 📚 series. The story is set in Richmond, VA during the 1800's. The Civil War has ended even though the slave holders in the South refused to admit defeat and follow the laws. The protagonists are Elisabeth (Lisbeth) Johnson and her nurse maid named Mary Hattie Bartley. Though both relocated to the North to live in the free state of Ohio, family issues call them back home. A truly enlightening novel.A 5 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 rating.
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  • Sayeeda
    January 1, 1970
    It was a page turner I get a bit distracted when they were talking about politics I wanted her to show little kindness to her parents but she had her reasons.. 😩
  • Maureen Timerman
    January 1, 1970
    As I turned the final page of this book, I know this book will long linger with me. Now this is the second book in this series, and yes I recommend that you read “Yellow Crocus”, you won’t be disappointed. While this story brings our main characters back to Virginia the first book was during the Civil War and we followed them out.With this story the author has us returning to Virginia, and all the while I’m screaming to myself “No”, I can just feel frightened for them, and yet I had no idea how As I turned the final page of this book, I know this book will long linger with me. Now this is the second book in this series, and yes I recommend that you read “Yellow Crocus”, you won’t be disappointed. While this story brings our main characters back to Virginia the first book was during the Civil War and we followed them out.With this story the author has us returning to Virginia, and all the while I’m screaming to myself “No”, I can just feel frightened for them, and yet I had no idea how bad it could be.Somehow all of our main characters from the first book end up back in Virginia, and we reunite with some of those that we would rather not see again. Lisbeth and her Mattie are here along with their children, and we visit the Plantation that originally brought them together. I loved Lisbeth’s six-year-old Sadie when she pointed out the green leaf with the white stripe and points out that she is sure that the flower is yellow, of course!This trip back is an eye opener, and loved the Faith these people live, but will they all make it back? A page-turner for sure, I needed to know the ending.I received this book through Net Galley and Lake Union Publishing, and was not required to give a positive review.
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  • Joyce
    January 1, 1970
    I think I would have enjoyed this more had I read the first in the series. Interesting inspirational historical novel set just after the Civil War. It follows two story lines that intertwine nicely: a white woman raising her family in liberal Oberlin, Ohio, travels south with her children to the plantation where she was raised to try to reconcile with her family and ailing father, while three blacks--mother, son, and daughter--go to the same area to try to find two children lost during the war. I think I would have enjoyed this more had I read the first in the series. Interesting inspirational historical novel set just after the Civil War. It follows two story lines that intertwine nicely: a white woman raising her family in liberal Oberlin, Ohio, travels south with her children to the plantation where she was raised to try to reconcile with her family and ailing father, while three blacks--mother, son, and daughter--go to the same area to try to find two children lost during the war. Interesting characters and a good sense of the times, especially the lack of progress in the South toward racial equality and the unwillingness of some southerners to accept the changes brought by the war. Some harrowing scenes but all works out. Bahni Turpin does an excellent job narrating.
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  • Julia
    January 1, 1970
    Dieses Buch ist ein Stück amerikanische Geschichte in schöne Worte gefasst.Es ist die Geschichte zweier Frauen, eine weiß, eine schwarz, in der Zeit nach dem Bürgerkrieg und der Abschaffung der Sklaverei. Das Leben beider Frauen wird glaubhaft geschildert und ich konnte gut nachvollziehen, wie die sozialen Verhältnisse der damaligen Zeit waren.Diese Rezension basiert auf einer ARC, die mir der Verlag durch NetGalley zur Verfügung gestellt hat.#NetGalleyDEChallenge
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  • Chesney
    January 1, 1970
    Mustard Seed is the continuing story of Lizbeth and Mattie. I would highly recommend reading Yellow Crocus to really understand this epic story. This takes place after The Civil War where both Lizbeth and Mattie are facing different battles of their own. You hear from two different perspectives being Lizbeth and Mattie's daughter Jordan. The injustice these women faced and the prejudice of people was so heartbreaking to read. I love how Lizbeth stood her convictions even though her family pretty Mustard Seed is the continuing story of Lizbeth and Mattie. I would highly recommend reading Yellow Crocus to really understand this epic story. This takes place after The Civil War where both Lizbeth and Mattie are facing different battles of their own. You hear from two different perspectives being Lizbeth and Mattie's daughter Jordan. The injustice these women faced and the prejudice of people was so heartbreaking to read. I love how Lizbeth stood her convictions even though her family pretty much shunned her. These women needed to have faith as mustard seed and they did.
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  • Susan Peterson
    January 1, 1970
    Mustard Seed is an emotional, captivating story of faith and family, and how those two things can help us through the darkest of times. The book takes place three years after the end of the Civil War, and it is a stirring account of what conditions were like for former slaves and their owners at that time. Three strong, brave, loving women are at the center of this story; women who left the South before the war began, women who believe that conditions have improved in Virginia, especially for th Mustard Seed is an emotional, captivating story of faith and family, and how those two things can help us through the darkest of times. The book takes place three years after the end of the Civil War, and it is a stirring account of what conditions were like for former slaves and their owners at that time. Three strong, brave, loving women are at the center of this story; women who left the South before the war began, women who believe that conditions have improved in Virginia, especially for the former slaves; but when they return they find that the same battles are being fought, that injustice and oppression are still being inflicted. These women and their families captured my heart, evoking emotions on every page. The story was so compelling, I read each page with my heart in my throat, and I stayed up very late last night reading til the end! This book continues the story of the author's previous book, Yellow Crocus, and I highly encourage you to read that book first.
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  • Carole
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars rounded up. A good story about Lisbeth & Mattie, her caregiver years after the Cival War. I liked Yellow Crocus better.
  • Gaele
    January 1, 1970
    This is a story told in two perspectives: both colored and influenced by the issue of slavery and the Civil War. Set in the Reconstruction area, both Lisbeth and Jordan live in Oberlin Ohio in 1868, even if their situations couldn’t be more different, or more similar. Lisbeth left her family and home in Virginia to marry a man of her own choosing, an abolitionist, and head north to start their life. Growing up on a tobacco plantation, she was expected to marry and remain solidly a daughter of th This is a story told in two perspectives: both colored and influenced by the issue of slavery and the Civil War. Set in the Reconstruction area, both Lisbeth and Jordan live in Oberlin Ohio in 1868, even if their situations couldn’t be more different, or more similar. Lisbeth left her family and home in Virginia to marry a man of her own choosing, an abolitionist, and head north to start their life. Growing up on a tobacco plantation, she was expected to marry and remain solidly a daughter of the south, maintaining the status quo. Jordan, the youngest child of her mother Mattie, never knew or truly understood the hold that slavery held over her parents and brother: although born into slavery, on the same plantation that Lisbeth lived, she never really understood her mother’s stories about Lisbeth or life in the south, even as she repeatedly heard the stories of her mother’s flight to Ohio to join her husband Emmanuel and her son Samuel. Living a free life, Jordan and her brother Samuel both took advantage of educational opportunities for university and freedom of choice: him to be a lawyer, she to be a teacher. In fact, Lisbeth is teaching in a non-segregated school, with Lisbeth’s daughter Sadie as one of her pupils. But, Jordan wants more: the talk about offering voting rights to the recently freed slaves does not include women, and Jordan is a strong believer in women’s right and duty to vote. She’s been planning to work with a woman’s rights organization in New York, a plan she has yet to share with her parents. And then there is Lisbeth: her parents were furious when she broke an understanding with a man of their choosing to marry Matthew and head north. While she’s missing her parents, guilty for disappointing them, and concerned for their well-being, her first visit home when her son Samuel was an infant: her mother’s callous and cold treatment mirrored her childhood and recriminations for her beliefs, choices and what her family saw as abandonment and rejection left her reeling. But, ever the dutiful daughter, her mother’s letter containing news of her father’s illness and a request that she return to sit vigil spur her planned trip to visit her family, bringing her two young children (Samuel, 9 and Sadie, 6) along to see their grandparents and where she grew up. Simultaneously, Mattie has decided that she, her son and daughter will take a wagon back to Virginia, to convince her niece Sarah to return to Ohio with them. A journey fraught with new revelations and understanding: both Lisbeth and Jordan are convinced that now the war is over and emancipation the law of the land that slavery and the inequities based on nothing more than race and antiquated beliefs are over. Never did either expect nor allow for the hatred and anger that remain: that ingrained belief of many (then and now) that there is an inbred and biological superiority held by whites, and that their way of life, made possible by slave labor and impossible by actually paying for the labor that works their plantations. Jordan believes that her mother, while loving her to bits, is overly cautious and fearful for their safety in returning, and Lisbeth hopes that her return will herald a new start for her relationship with her mother and brother as she says goodbye to her father. From the tension and guilt that Lisbeth carries, worries about her mother and their welcome, the questions and reactions her children will have, the emotions brought back from being home and the constant guilt trip from her parents’ reduced circumstances and the shock when she realizes that circumstances haven’t truly changed: her family still clings to the ‘old ways’, her mother’s behavior more erratic than ever, and even her children are full of questions that she can’t always answer. For Jordan – from the first meeting with overseers to experiencing the slave quarters in which her cousin Sarah lives, the ineffective (if mostly well-meaning) function of the Freedmen’s Bureau, and the capture and imprisonment of her brother under the questionable claim of ‘vagrancy’ start to show her the error of her beliefs. From the first page until the last, Ibrahim manages to maintain levels of emotional tension that never quite disappear: bringing the concept of a country (and families) torn apart over the mistaken belief in the right to own another human being for one’s own purpose. The strength and faith that Mattie clings to is remarkable to behold, her simple and well-defined faith in the rightness of her convictions and actions, her openness and enduring love for her family and children, and the affection she carries for Lisbeth – a child not of her flesh but one she cared for as her own nonetheless influence the impact of this story in human terms. The facts are there for anyone to access, but it is the emotional impact of the telling and showing here that put this firmly into the favorites. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.Review first appeared at I am, Indeed
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  • Judi Ross
    January 1, 1970
    Because I loved Yellow Crocus so much, I was anxious to read the sequel, Mustard Seed. It did not disappoint. I cared so much for both Lisbeth and Mattie that I was glad to have the opportunity to stay with them. This novel is set just shortly after the Civil War. It is apparent that the author did a great deal of research about this period; about the affects on the families on both sides of the conflict as well as the affects on the economy of the South. Lands were destroyed and now that the pl Because I loved Yellow Crocus so much, I was anxious to read the sequel, Mustard Seed. It did not disappoint. I cared so much for both Lisbeth and Mattie that I was glad to have the opportunity to stay with them. This novel is set just shortly after the Civil War. It is apparent that the author did a great deal of research about this period; about the affects on the families on both sides of the conflict as well as the affects on the economy of the South. Lands were destroyed and now that the plantations had no slave labor the owners of these lands had to make adjustments. As well, just because the law stated that all men are free did not mean that former slaves were able to adjust nor were they immediately accepted. The experiences told in this book were eye opening to me. Ibrahim did a beautiful job, once again, writing a heart wrenching tale. I understand that in fiction, the author has to take some liberties to tell their story. The only thing that kept this from being 5 stars were the too many coincidences that moved the story forward. Each of these two novels is short. Both should be read.
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  • Jenny
    January 1, 1970
    Lizbeth returns to her native Virginia to care for her dying father. She hasn't been home for several years, and her family hasn't forgiven her for breaking her engagement to the wealthy but despicable land/slave owner Edward, marrying Matthew and moving to Oberlin, Ohio. At the same time, Mattie...who years before had been Lizbeth's nurse until she escaped slavery and fled to Ohio...returns to Virginia to rescue a family member still living and working on the plantation of her former master.Whi Lizbeth returns to her native Virginia to care for her dying father. She hasn't been home for several years, and her family hasn't forgiven her for breaking her engagement to the wealthy but despicable land/slave owner Edward, marrying Matthew and moving to Oberlin, Ohio. At the same time, Mattie...who years before had been Lizbeth's nurse until she escaped slavery and fled to Ohio...returns to Virginia to rescue a family member still living and working on the plantation of her former master.While slavery has officially ended, things haven't changed much in Virginia. Many freed slaves still live and work (without pay) for their former owners. Former slaves can be arrested for vagrancy for just walking down the street during the day...they should be at work at that time. Lizbeth, Mattie and the other characters face obstacles, endure heartbreak and exhibit great faith and courage.
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  • Shirley Garmon
    January 1, 1970
    This is the sequel to Yellow Crocus. I enjoyed the first book so much I wanted to know what happened next. (You'll want to read them in order) This book is set in a horrible time in history, right after the end of the civil war, and even though we've heard so many stories of the atrocities of slavery this book really brings it to life. (But without going into too much of the gory details.) I do not care for depressing, gory, sexual, evil or violent books or movies, and even though this is set du This is the sequel to Yellow Crocus. I enjoyed the first book so much I wanted to know what happened next. (You'll want to read them in order) This book is set in a horrible time in history, right after the end of the civil war, and even though we've heard so many stories of the atrocities of slavery this book really brings it to life. (But without going into too much of the gory details.) I do not care for depressing, gory, sexual, evil or violent books or movies, and even though this is set during slavery times (which was all of those things), the writing does not fit into any of the above categories. Instead, the writer makes you fall in love with the characters and that is what your focus is on the whole time.I absolutely love the use of the Mustard Seeds. Even though I don't believe the book was meant to be a spiritual one, there are many spiritual connections in the writing.I don't want to give away any spoilers so I'll just list some of my favourite quotes from the book:"We don’t get to pick how big our 'good' gets to be, but each of us picks 'if' we gonna do some good right where we are.” “If enough people puts their drop of water in the same place, we can make a flower bloom right in the middle of the desert.”"Getting you to lose your hope the biggest weapon they gots. So our best weapon is to hold on to hope, however we can.”“You don’t have to know how or why faith work—you jus’ got to make sure you find some when you feelin’ lost.”
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  • Lois
    January 1, 1970
    engaging page turner. every novel i read that is historical adds a small piece to my understanding of the complex issues of an era. this one takes place in just after the civil war - in Virginia (slave state) and Ohio (free state), with the struggles of recently freed slaves, a few white people who supported them, some brave and brilliant black people, and the ones who kept things exactly as they were before emancipation and losing the war. (and i think they still do today - sometimes it seems l engaging page turner. every novel i read that is historical adds a small piece to my understanding of the complex issues of an era. this one takes place in just after the civil war - in Virginia (slave state) and Ohio (free state), with the struggles of recently freed slaves, a few white people who supported them, some brave and brilliant black people, and the ones who kept things exactly as they were before emancipation and losing the war. (and i think they still do today - sometimes it seems like we are still fighting the civil war)gives some insight into the bitterness of slave owners, but the lead characters, both black and white, are such exceptionally good people - and i sure hope people like them existed!
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  • Kath Middleton
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 starsThis book follows on from Yellow Crocus but is set a few years later, after the Civil War. Lisbeth decides to visit her family after a letter from her mother to tell her that her father is dying. Unknown to her, Mattie and her daughter Jordan visit at the same time, to try to persuade Sarah to leave. I found the book a little slower to engage me than Yellow Crocus but once it did, it was a great story. I had assumed that slavery stopped with the emancipation legislation. Plantation owne 4.5 starsThis book follows on from Yellow Crocus but is set a few years later, after the Civil War. Lisbeth decides to visit her family after a letter from her mother to tell her that her father is dying. Unknown to her, Mattie and her daughter Jordan visit at the same time, to try to persuade Sarah to leave. I found the book a little slower to engage me than Yellow Crocus but once it did, it was a great story. I had assumed that slavery stopped with the emancipation legislation. Plantation owners were their own law and they still bought and sold their workers. There were some exciting scenes in the book and it built to a great ending. Very worthwhile reading.
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  • Marisa
    January 1, 1970
    What an incredible book. From beginning to end. I can’t think of all the words to say how much I loved this. As someone who works in an antebellum plantation house museum, slavery and its depiction in all forms of media, whether in movies, TV shows, books, etc., this book hit especially hard. Also, considering the political climate that we’re in...Mustard Seed is a novel we need, and thank God Laila Ibrahim gave it to us.
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  • Loretta
    January 1, 1970
    Two women connected by a shared history return from the relative safety of the American North to a South still devastated by the years of civil war bringing their families with them. One is white, one black.Both will have to make hard decisions in the aftermath of what happened, and both will face danger.This wouldn't quite be considered Christian fiction by everyone, but an undertone of faith definitely runs through the story.Without being graphic, the author still manages to capture the violen Two women connected by a shared history return from the relative safety of the American North to a South still devastated by the years of civil war bringing their families with them. One is white, one black.Both will have to make hard decisions in the aftermath of what happened, and both will face danger.This wouldn't quite be considered Christian fiction by everyone, but an undertone of faith definitely runs through the story.Without being graphic, the author still manages to capture the violence of a world where, although theoretically liberated, ex-slaves are still treated in much the same way as before.This was a page-turner for me, and I enjoyed it.
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  • Shelley Young
    January 1, 1970
    Any book that can get me emotionally involved is a good book for me. Mustard Seed did that. It got me so involved and hooked within the first few chapters that I couldn't put the book down and finished reading it in one sitting. It is most definitely a book worth reading and it will have you hating the bad characters and loving other characters. I enjoyed this book immensely and wished it had been longer.
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  • Donna
    January 1, 1970
    Too Slow movingI was disappointed with this book and didn't finish it, which is not something I usually do. I can only recall doing this just a few times in my reading lifetime. I got about 50% through. I enjoy reading about the Civil War, learning more about the struggles & hardships of the people of the time. This one just didn't hold my attention. The story went back & forth between the freed slave family and the families who owned the plantations. Sometimes it felt like I was reading Too Slow movingI was disappointed with this book and didn't finish it, which is not something I usually do. I can only recall doing this just a few times in my reading lifetime. I got about 50% through. I enjoy reading about the Civil War, learning more about the struggles & hardships of the people of the time. This one just didn't hold my attention. The story went back & forth between the freed slave family and the families who owned the plantations. Sometimes it felt like I was reading two different books, not enough melding together. But then again, I didn't finish it, so maybe this did happen toward the end. I just couldn't stay with it to find out.
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  • Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    Audio Version10 FREAKIN' GOLDEN STARS!!!!Excuse me while I get all the FEELS under control so I can review this novel with a clear mind. Mustard Seed? What a beautiful symbol of faith this tiny seed stands for and what a PERFECT name for this novel. I must find a handful of them, place them in a vial and drop them randomly in places that need some faith. (Scripture below). I'm so annoyed this book only has 523 reviews?! WHAT IN THE EVER LIVING HECK!!! Get with it people! Stop what you're reading Audio Version10 FREAKIN' GOLDEN STARS!!!!Excuse me while I get all the FEELS under control so I can review this novel with a clear mind. Mustard Seed? What a beautiful symbol of faith this tiny seed stands for and what a PERFECT name for this novel. I must find a handful of them, place them in a vial and drop them randomly in places that need some faith. (Scripture below). I'm so annoyed this book only has 523 reviews?! WHAT IN THE EVER LIVING HECK!!! Get with it people! Stop what you're reading now and crack open (or listen, or swipe or whatever you do) this novel NOW! I don't consider many books as an "all time favorite" because I don't take breath-taking reads lightly. I'm a "Novel Nerd" and I develop real life emotions to fictional characters (yeah, yeah... you do too if you're on Goodreads). Although the characters are fiction, the history is VERY REAL! So many families lived this life so many years ago. I'm absolutely obsessed with history and find myself researching information online long after finishing touching novels because the literature is so rich! Historical Fiction is by far my favorite genre and it makes me so giddy when I find a gem like this one. This story puts the slavery error in perspective. What a horrible era to have lived in and so heartbreaking. I can't believe the stupidity of my ancestors. It makes me so angry that my own blood could act in such hate. Although slavery was ceased (Love that Lincoln! God rest his soul) slaves were still incarcerated by the white man (Masser). These slaves were forced to stay in plantations "willingly" in fear of starving, being homeless or threatened by beatings or death if they wanted to leave. These helpless souls knew nothing other than what they've lived their whole lives and the availability of getting help to leave their situations safely were close to impossible. And the children...it breaks my heart. Even after the Civil War, over 100 years ago, it still impacts our nation. The racism is still sowed into the roots of our land between skin color. Aren't we educated enough now to embed the peace? To love? To look past the ignorance and hate that previous Americans initiated upon us? The Mustard Seed-And He said to them, "Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you. -Matthew 17:20And He said, "How shall we picture the kingdom of God, or by what parable shall we present it? "It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the soil, though it is smaller than all the seeds that are upon the soil, yet when it is sown, it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and forms large branches; so that THE BIRDS OF THE AIR can NEST UNDER ITS SHADE." -Mark 4:30-32
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  • Wendy Perez
    January 1, 1970
    This book was amazing . I don't usually read books like this but I am so glad I did. I learned alot I wasn't aware took place during this niche in time. Lisbeth , Mattie ,Jordan ,Samuel and the children were wonderfully written and I felt like I knew them all. I purposely took my time reading this book because I didn't want it to be over yet! Bravo Laila Ibrahim for a wonderful book that captures you heart!
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  • Brandi
    January 1, 1970
    Always impressiveI am absolutely enamored with Ms Ibrahim's storytelling capabilities. This is another enthralling edition I gave the pleasure of song to my shelf. Take the time to read this novel - it will not disappoint.
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