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
Rating
GenreFiction, Historical

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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  • 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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  • Andie
    January 1, 1970
    Told from alternating points of view, this is the continuing story of a beautiful, enduring friendship, set in a just-post Civil War America, moving from a hopeful Ohio back to the crumbled Confederacy lingering in Virginia. Jordan was born a slave to Lisbeth’s nurse on the Fair Oaks plantation. The two girls developed a deep bond of real friendship in that place of subjugation. A place they left together, both women leaving family behind for a better future. Lisbeth was shunned for this choice, Told from alternating points of view, this is the continuing story of a beautiful, enduring friendship, set in a just-post Civil War America, moving from a hopeful Ohio back to the crumbled Confederacy lingering in Virginia. Jordan was born a slave to Lisbeth’s nurse on the Fair Oaks plantation. The two girls developed a deep bond of real friendship in that place of subjugation. A place they left together, both women leaving family behind for a better future. Lisbeth was shunned for this choice, and for another to marry an abolitionist. Both women establish a life on their own terms in Ohio. Any stability or calm the two women are able to claim for themselves is lost when news arrives that Lisbeth’s father is dying. The return to Fair Oaks presents both for a chance at reconciliation. Truly, this is a story marked by terrible injustice and violence, but at its core are themes of friendship, family, and healing.
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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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  • 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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  • Mary
    January 1, 1970
    A great follow up to Yellow Crocus. Wonderful characters and story telling but heart breaking because you know the awful conditions described for "ex" slaves is based on fact.
  • Tori
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars
  • Janice
    January 1, 1970
    Another great read from Laila Ibrahim.
  • Jan Crossen
    January 1, 1970
    "Livin' in hope in the face of evil...it the most powerful weapon we got.". This powerful book is a beacon of hope. If you enjoy historical fiction, you owe it to yourself to first read, Yellow Crocus, and then Mustard Seed, which is the sequel. Both are informative and amazing! Well done, Laila Ibrahim! What's next?
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  • Alison
    January 1, 1970
    It was great to once again read about the continuing lives of the people in her previous book Yellow Crocus, which took place during the civil war and slavery in the south. This book continues after the civil war and follows the friendship between Maddie, a former slave and Lisbeth who's family owned her. Lisbeth, who married a man that her parents did not approve of, left with him to find a better life in Ohio. Mattie and her baby daughter Jordan ran away from the plantation and made it to Ohio It was great to once again read about the continuing lives of the people in her previous book Yellow Crocus, which took place during the civil war and slavery in the south. This book continues after the civil war and follows the friendship between Maddie, a former slave and Lisbeth who's family owned her. Lisbeth, who married a man that her parents did not approve of, left with him to find a better life in Ohio. Mattie and her baby daughter Jordan ran away from the plantation and made it to Ohio when Jordan was a baby. Now with her grown children, Jordan and Samuel, Maddie heads back to see if they can convince her cousin Sarah to come back to Ohio with them.Now years later Lisbeth's father is dying and she and her children take a trip to see him before he dies. Not much seems to have changed in the south, people still working in the fields harvesting tobacco, without pay, even when they were supposedly free. The story alternates between what is going on with Mattie and her family and then to what is going on with Lisbeth and hers. Coming together for some major events that happen.It was interesting to hear about how the end of the war effected these different people. I have a feeling this story may continue. The author is a wonderful story teller and writer, and I have so enjoyed these two book.I would like to thank NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for the ARC of this book
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  • Anita
    January 1, 1970
    Firstly I must admit that 'Yellow Crocus' is one of my favourite books from a lifetime of being an avid reader. I smiled and cried with Mattie and Lisbeth, as they formed a loving and complicated relationship in a period of great cruelty and injustice in the American South. They had become like dear friends by the time I finished reading that book. Perhaps, my expectations were too high when I began this sequel. It is a story covering a much larger landscape and highlighting far more characters. Firstly I must admit that 'Yellow Crocus' is one of my favourite books from a lifetime of being an avid reader. I smiled and cried with Mattie and Lisbeth, as they formed a loving and complicated relationship in a period of great cruelty and injustice in the American South. They had become like dear friends by the time I finished reading that book. Perhaps, my expectations were too high when I began this sequel. It is a story covering a much larger landscape and highlighting far more characters. Sometimes the long list of landowners and slaves became confusing; especially as some shared the same name or had several different names. It is beautifully written, as only Laila Ibrahim can write; but I missed the intimacy of the previous novel. The historical setting, at a time when America was supposed to be a Union and all slaves freed, was drawn with stark realism. Laws can be promulgated, but the implementation of those laws rely on the adherence of the public officials and leaders. I did not realize that even after the abolition of slavery some landowners in the South still kept men and women in conditions of cruel slavery. I learned a great deal about the plight of the black and coloured population in the Southern States from this book. I was horrified by their treatment and sickened by a situation of children left hopelessly adrift with no means of uniting with their families. This story was fascinating and appealed to me intellectually; whereas Yellow Crocus moved me emotionally. I would definitely recommend reading the latter before reading this book. The relationship between Mattie and Lisbeth requires understanding to avoid reader confusion.
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  • Paula Spencer
    January 1, 1970
    A worthy follow - up to Yellow Crocus. I started to read this book immediately after finishing Yellow Crocus with the story fresh in my mind and all my emotions still at the fore. We pick it up up in 1898 with Jordan now a confident 19 year old teacher who teaches children of all colours from the whitest of white to the deepest brown. We can see how the abolition of slavery and the end of the war has changed things in Ohio. Although slavery was abolished a lot of the "freed" slaves still lived a A worthy follow - up to Yellow Crocus. I started to read this book immediately after finishing Yellow Crocus with the story fresh in my mind and all my emotions still at the fore. We pick it up up in 1898 with Jordan now a confident 19 year old teacher who teaches children of all colours from the whitest of white to the deepest brown. We can see how the abolition of slavery and the end of the war has changed things in Ohio. Although slavery was abolished a lot of the "freed" slaves still lived and worked for their old "massa's" because it was all they knew and felt relatively safe there. When the story moves across to Lisbeth 's father, mother and brother we see how Lisbeth 's marriage affected them and their way of life and also that the abolition of slavery meant nothing to them and others like them. We get drawn into the tragedy of a dying father and a returning daughter trying to put things right before he dies and of her trying to regain or should I say gain some love and trust from her mother to give her comfort during this emotional time. We also see Lisbeth accepting what her father did as a young "massa."I thoroughly enjoyed this book and love Laila's writing style. A beautifully written sequel.
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  • Courtney Smyth
    January 1, 1970
    When I saw there was going to be a sequel to "Yellow Crocus" I just had to request it!Following on from Yellow Crocus, the Civil War is now over and Lisbeth and Mattie have found themselves being called back to Virginia to face their past. Slavery has been abolished - but what difference has it made in their home state? Both women go home to clear their unfinished business.I absolutely love the authors style of writing and it's so easy to get drawn in and imagine you are in post civil war Ohio!I When I saw there was going to be a sequel to "Yellow Crocus" I just had to request it!Following on from Yellow Crocus, the Civil War is now over and Lisbeth and Mattie have found themselves being called back to Virginia to face their past. Slavery has been abolished - but what difference has it made in their home state? Both women go home to clear their unfinished business.I absolutely love the authors style of writing and it's so easy to get drawn in and imagine you are in post civil war Ohio!I thought the plot was captivating and it was nice to find out what had become of Mattie and Lisbeth after the civil war. Everything tied together neatly at the end (almost too much so for my liking). Great feel good historical fiction read that also gets you thinking!
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  • Pat Meyer
    January 1, 1970
    Family for TimeRescuing kith and kin from the atrocities following the War between the states/Civil War takes twists and turns to cope with a new form of slavery in Virginia. Two families find it hard to deal with these conflicts, yet finding goodness in those around them allows growth of understanding to escape old ideals. The evil concepts of Southern slavery are faced by both blacks and whites seeking a better resolution. As in the War, family member meets family member fighting the old war a Family for TimeRescuing kith and kin from the atrocities following the War between the states/Civil War takes twists and turns to cope with a new form of slavery in Virginia. Two families find it hard to deal with these conflicts, yet finding goodness in those around them allows growth of understanding to escape old ideals. The evil concepts of Southern slavery are faced by both blacks and whites seeking a better resolution. As in the War, family member meets family member fighting the old war again and again. History is repeating itself but after many tribulations, goodness won following history---yet the need to continue the work to defeat slavery's dark side would be long.
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  • Kathleen Gray
    January 1, 1970
    Don't be intimidated by the fact that this is a follow on tale to Yellow Crocus- take it for what is is and enjoy this story of two women and their families in the years immediately after the Civil War. Ibrahim has obviously done a great deal of research on the era but more importantly she has created terrific believable and sympathetic characters in Lisbeth, Mattie, and Jordan, who are the heart of this novel. Reconstruction and reconciliation was incredibly difficult and painful- some of those Don't be intimidated by the fact that this is a follow on tale to Yellow Crocus- take it for what is is and enjoy this story of two women and their families in the years immediately after the Civil War. Ibrahim has obviously done a great deal of research on the era but more importantly she has created terrific believable and sympathetic characters in Lisbeth, Mattie, and Jordan, who are the heart of this novel. Reconstruction and reconciliation was incredibly difficult and painful- some of those scars remain today- and these women deal with issues we might have forgotten. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. Recommend this to fans of historical fiction. If you haven't read Yellow Crocus, I'll bet you'll go back after for it. I'm looking forward to more from Ibrahim.
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  • Patricia Anne. Dsvis
    January 1, 1970
    Sequel of the Yellow Crocus It has been two years since I had read Yellow Crocus, when I was sent the notice of the new book The Mustard Seed I knew it had to be good. I enjoyed this new story it was beautiful written. Reading more about Matttie and Lisabeth and their families, learning new things about the end of the civil war! It would be nice to maybe have another continuous story of their children's children. Rated 5 Stars
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  • Karen J. Dikes
    January 1, 1970
    Just so soThis book was not one that was impossible to put down. I had a hard time finishing it in fact. But the story of post war blacks is important and needs to be told. Too many people think that emancipation ended the struggles for the slaves, but it was still a hard life for freed men and women. This book tells some of that story. So in that way it is worth your time.
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  • Polly Krize
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.A worthy sequel to Yellow Crocus, I believe this book could be read without reading the first book. After the Civil War, Lizbeth and Mattie are both facing injustice and prejudice in their own ways. Their friendship is explored very empathetically and the writing is enthralling.
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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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  • ReBecca
    January 1, 1970
    An emotional sequel to Yellow Crocus. Getting to see Lisabeth and Mattie come together brings so much joy and happiness. It’s sad though that even today blacks and women fight for equal rights even after a century of fighting for those rights. I hope that the author continues to write about their journey and what is next for them! Definitely a great/ must read!!!
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  • Denise Levendoski
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Laila Ibrahim and Goodreads.com I won this book in a Giveaway.This sequel to Yellow Crocus was a great follow up story on Lisbeth and Mattie. I really enjoyed this book, it was different and kept pulling at your heart strings. Mustard Seed was much more intense and gave you just a glimpse of what their fear was like. I really enjoyed the book !
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  • Sarah Parrales
    January 1, 1970
    Need to Read BookSad story but much needed to be written so even though I will never understand all the hardships that being a colored person went thou reading this story it gave me an idea a glimpse into their live and how sad to read but glad the women had a faith as small as a mustard seed! Because of their faith they survived! Great story and glad I read this story!
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  • Bylinda A McCabe
    January 1, 1970
    Freedom isn't freeThis was so interesting and informative about what happened after the civil war. The slaves were mistreated in so many ways. Only a few white family treated them as humans.
  • Jazmine(The Bookworm)
    January 1, 1970
    This is apparently a continuation of Yellow Crocus which I haven't read so I don't feel as though I got that deep, personal connection with the characters. That being said, it was still a lovely story. The injustices these women face are crazy.
  • Louise Child
    January 1, 1970
    A little too godly for meA little too much into god for me .The reference to mustard seed seemed contrived .I've read other tales and accounts of slavery that rang more truly than this .
  • Rose Lambert
    January 1, 1970
    Great bookVery interesting read. Looking back on history one realized the hardships borne by people of color. You cannot erase history but you can make sure it does not happen again.
  • Mary Ference
    January 1, 1970
    A great second book.
  • Debbie S
    January 1, 1970
    It was very hard for me to imagine living Life during the time this book is set in. Extremely harsh and cruel. I could not put this book down once I started; I finished it in one day!
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