Although, the book’s plot is told from the third person omniscient point of view, it focuses on the lives of three people living in rural Alabama in the 1960s. Tab- Naïve teenager who is starting to form her political and social ideas in the midst of the Civil Rights movement Charles- Tab’s father who is involved in conservative politics and who is a descendent of one of the founding members of the Ku Klux Klan Maudie- Tab’s former best friend who contracted polio and operates a voting school for African- Americans
Tab’s family received a visit by their liberal relative from California, Aunt Eugeniua. She takes Tab and her sister, Tina, to the Highlander Folk School. There, they learn how to participate in Civil Rights movements and live in peace with other races. Meanwhile, Charles has been recruited to help manage the campaign of a candidate for governor. His decision to support this candidate has upset his strict, conservative family.
Maudie was released from the polio hospital and has been appointed to teach African- Americans how to read and write at a voting school. She lives in a church and has been taken in by a local family. The Highlander Folk School was shut down and Tab and her aunt were forced to return home.
On the way home from a campaign rally, Charles was involved in a plane crash in which he was the only survivor. His brush with death taught him to be grateful for his family and to be kinder to others. Maudie was killed in a church fire and her memory was honored by church members with a float in the town’s Labor Day parade.
The Summer We Got Saved is an entertaining read that deals very well with the sensitive issue of racism in the Deep South during the Civil Rights movement. While a work of historical fiction, it incorporates touching emotional scenes and subtle humor to make the reader feel as if they were in the book. At times, the story can be hard to follow as it jumps from different characters and times. Readers who enjoy historical fiction would enjoy this book because it is based upon real events and places.
The image of teacher is representative of my book because every character in the novel is taught something that changes their lives. Tab is taught how to get along with others by her friend, Dominique. Maudie is taught how to love by her student, Jessie. Charles is taught the true meaning of loyalty and sacrifice by his friend, Reuben.
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