Tuesday, April 11, 2017

One Way Or Another by Annette Laing

Hannah Dias has learned that she can make herself time travel. She misses Mrs. Devenish so much that she transports herself into 1951 to find her. One problem though is she brings someone with her. Alex, Hannah's brother, has never liked their time travel adventures and he certainly isn't happy about it now. Hannah is so happy to see Mrs. D, but Mrs. Devenish's lack of excitement to see her makes Hannah hurt and angry. Hannah is then transported to the early 1900's Balesworth, and once again brings someone with her. She had been holding on to Alex, but Alex is nowhere to be found. Verity on the otherhand has come with her from 1951. Of course the professor is there to help them know what they are doing in that time period. Hannah is to become a maid in young Elizabeth Hughes(Devenish) home. She learns about the early suffragettes movement and she also learns many things about what made Mrs. Devenish who she is. Young Elizabeth is impetuous and headstrong. She also learns about the caste system of servants vs. elites. In the meantime Brandon has been transported to Snipesville, Georgia and has his own problems.

Brandon has been sent to 1905 Snipesville close to the time of the "We don't talk about that" incident. Slavery has been abolished for only 40 years and prejudices still run high. Snipesville is pretty much owned by a Mr. Hughes who fancies himself the leader or king of the whole town. Snipesville has always been a town filled with prejudices and rascism and Brandon is set right in the middle of all of the racial tension. The attitude of the times is that as long as a black person knows their place and keeps to it they are useful, but if anything happens anger and tension runs high and the blame all goes to the black citizens. Alex and Eric, now engaged to Verity in 1951, are transported to Snipesville as well. Brandon knows the ropes of rascism and even though he hates it he knows the history of what happens if a black person makes waves. Alex and Eric on the otherhand have no idea what it means to not be able to treat Brandon as an equal. Brandon feels that his job in traveling to this time period is to help establish a college for black people to further their education. He goes on a journey to raise money from some famous black people of the times, Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Dubois. Two huge names in black history with two different views on education and the movement to end prejudice. In Snipesville Brandon, Alex and Eric get a firsthand look at rascism and the treatment of strangers in their small town that hasn't changed much in the 21st century where they live today.

This is the 4th and last book in The Snipesville Chronicles. It is also the longest! So much information is packed into this book. I liked the switching back and forth between Balesworth where Hannah and Verity were, to Snipesville where Brandon, Alex and Eric were. Both in or around 1905-1906. It was interesting and hard to read about the racial issues of the day. It seems like we have come so far from those times of segragation, but yet we as a country still deal with racial tensions. It boggles my mind, as it should, how people can treat someone of different color or ethnicity so cruelly. I think I could make many more observations on rascism in today's society, but that is not the point of my review. Let's just say that even though we have come a long way, there seems to still be a long way to go. I much preferred Hannah's part of the story which was dealing more with her relationship issues with the young Elizabeth Hughes. Yes, there were prejudicial issues involving class, and the Suffregette's movement getting into full swing, but I was definitely more interested in the relationships. It seems that Hannah has finally matured and she ended up not frustrating me as much as she has in the past. I was definitely glad to see that. Eric and Alex in Snipesville on the otherhand really got on my nerves how naive they were about racial history even as it was slapping them in the face and Brandon was practically yelling it from the rooftops to them! I loved how the whole Snipesville Chronicles was wrapped up, I'm not going to give any spoilers, but it was a twist learning about the Professor! All in all this was a great end to the series.

Come back to my blog tomorrow to read an interview with author and historian Dr. Annette Laing! 

Check out my reviews of the other books in the series:

Don't Know Where, Don't Know When

A Different Day, A Different Destiny

Look Ahead, Look Back

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