Glow by Jessica Maria Tuccelli
A Novel

41%

15 Critic Reviews

All the voices feel distinct, though the stories involve so many new and overlapping names that it’s fortunate Tuccelli includes a set of family trees at the beginning of the book.
-AV Club

Synopsis

In the autumn of 1941, Amelia J. McGee, a young woman of Cherokee and Scotch-Irish descent, and an outspoken pamphleteer for the NAACP, hastily sends her daughter, Ella, alone on a bus home to Georgia in the middle of the night—a desperate measure that proves calamitous when the child encounters two drifters and is left for dead on the side of the road.

Ella awakens in the homestead of Willie Mae Cotton, a wise root doctor and former slave, and her partner, Mary-Mary Freeborn, tucked deep in the Takatoka Forest. As Ella heals, the secrets of her lineage are revealed.

Shot through with Cherokee lore and hoodoo conjuring, Glow transports us from Washington, D.C., on the brink of World War II to the Blue Ridge frontier of 1836, from the parlors of antebellum manses to the plantation kitchens where girls are raised by women who stand in as mothers. As the land with all its promise and turmoil passes from one generation to the next, Ella's ancestral home turns from safe haven to mayhem and back again.

Jessica Maria Tuccelli reveals deep insight into individual acts that can transform a community, and the ties that bind people together across immeasurable hardships and distances. Illuminating the tragedy of human frailty, the vitality of friendship and hope, and the fiercest of all bonds—mother love—the voices of Glow transcend their history with grace and splendor.
 

About Jessica Maria Tuccelli

See more books from this Author
JESSICA MARIA TUCCELLI lives in New York City with her husband and daughter. Glow is her first novel.
 
Published March 15, 2012 by Penguin Books. 329 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Glow
All: 15 | Positive: 5 | Negative: 10

Kirkus

Below average
Feb 01 2012

The surfeit of narratives about noble victims runs together into a heavy-handed treatise on racial injustices; and the awkward insertion of the supernatural only confuses.

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AV Club

Below average
Reviewed by Samantha Nelson on Mar 28 2012

All the voices feel distinct, though the stories involve so many new and overlapping names that it’s fortunate Tuccelli includes a set of family trees at the beginning of the book.

Read Full Review of Glow : A Novel | See more reviews from AV Club

School Library Journal

Below average
Reviewed by Jane Ritter on Apr 12 2012

Because it can be confusing with the shifting time periods and narrators, readers may need to keep the family tree bookmarked!

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Tottenville Review

Excellent
Reviewed by Scott Cheshire

Peopled by a chorus of voices as varied as they are remarkably rendered, Glow is unflinching in its portrait of slavery, violence, and prejudice.

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Popcorn Reads

Good
Reviewed by MK

I loved every minute I spent with this novel and definitely recommend it.

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Chaotic Compendiums

Good
Reviewed by Caitlin Martin on Mar 18 2012

I especially liked that she wove in the story of the displacement of the Cherokee and of the mission schools that took away the lore and culture of entire generations.

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A Musing Reviews

Below average
Reviewed by Nancy on Mar 15 2012

All stories are tied together. My only complaint is how loosely they are tied together.

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Tzer Island

Below average
Reviewed by TChris on Mar 14 2012

I give her even more credit for doing it well, although I suspect the novel would have been just as good -- maybe better -- without its supernatural elements.

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5 Minutes for Books

Below average
Reviewed by Nancy on Mar 17 2012

This event kicks off Glow, a saga filled with extraordinary characters, starting with Solomon B. Bounds: pioneer, slave owner and minister, whose relationships with slaves, Cherokee natives and white folks spawns a family legacy that would be hard to follow if it weren’t for the family tree included in the front pages of the novel.

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Bianca Pellet

Below average
Reviewed by Bianca Pellet on Apr 03 2012

In Glow, some characters are better painted than others, but this is perhaps an inevitable consequence given the sheer numbers of them.

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Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book

Good
Reviewed by Dollycas on Mar 15 2012

This is a poignant narrative of an important time in history. I

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Marjolein

Below average
Reviewed by Marjolein on Apr 11 2012

This book was very interesting, but a little and confusing at times.

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The Literary Gothamite

Good
Reviewed by Lauren on Mar 28 2012

Jessica Maria Tuccelli’s debut novel, a sentimental ghost story about mothers and daughters, spans six generations, one hundred years, and is told from multiple distinct and original perspectives; it is the stuff that a fiction-lover’s dreams are made of.

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Holly

Below average
Reviewed by Holly on Mar 15 2012

The biggest issue is that while the stories of each of the characters are connected, there is nothing to ease you from the narrative of one character into the narrative of another.

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Author Exposure

Below average
Reviewed by Libby on Mar 08 2012

Admittedly, keeping track of all these characters and relationships was difficult at times.

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Reader Rating for Glow
81%

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Terri McGinty 5 Sep 2013

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