Not Without Spirit

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
674 Pages
Reviewed on 06/16/2017
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite

Not Without Spirit by Ruth Ann Cramer is a novel about the Ku Klux Klan so beautifully written that the reader will feel drawn irrevocably into the dark world of the clan, a story with an unlikely hero and one that features great creativity and originality. Set against the backdrop of the cultural and historical turbulence of the late 1940s, this story follows the life, trials, and tribulations of ten-year-old Tricia Mae Haskins, the daughter of a ruthless and nasty Kentucky Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan. She is the surviving witness of a gross injustice, torture and murder, and those who orchestrated these heinous acts will stop at nothing to see her dead. They are determined to kill her before she spills the truth. Read on to discover her survival skills, her unusual intelligence, and the hell of suffering she endures — mental, physical, and spiritual — to stay alive. Can she survive long enough to bring the truth to light?

Ruth Ann Cramer creates a powerful character in Tricia Mae Haskins and the reader is interested in her life from the moment she is introduced. Readers will enjoy her resilient spirit, her determination to survive, and her ultimate triumph. Powerful historical and human themes are seamlessly woven into the story, including racism, the Ku Klux philosophy, survival, love, and a lot more. The plot is tightly written and it has many surprises strewn along the way for the reader. Not Without Spirit will remind readers of some elements of history, introduce them to an ideology that has been behind the untold suffering of many people, and entertain them beyond measure by its originality. It was nothing short of a delightful read, a story I will be picking up again to read.

Anne Boling

The setting is 1946 in a rural area of Kentucky. Ten year old Tricia was the daughter of the Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan. Her father was cruel and evil; he had no idea his young daughter had rescued many from his vile hands. Their shack of a home was on the edge of Whuppin’ Woods, an area where the Klan took their victims. Tricia was witness to the heartless prejudice, cruelty and slaughter of the Klan; she had no choice but to run to escape capture by the KKK who were determined to retrieve the evidence she had against them. The time came when she had to make a decision on whether to stay in hiding or to courageously testify against evil, risking all she loves.

I picked up this book because the setting is Kentucky; I kept reading because the story begged to be read. It was an honor to review “Not Without Spirit” by Ruth Ann Cramer. This is the best book I have read in a long time and I read a lot. I don’t think anyone could possibly read this book and not be affected. “Not Without Spirit” demonstrates the inhumanity of man. The Ku Klux Klan was and is a bunch of hate-filled people. I wish I could state that they no longer exist but I saw them march in my small town about 15 years ago. Although there was no violence you only had to be in their presence to know evil surrounds them. Tricia is an incredible character with depth showing courage and wisdom. “Not Without Spirit” has a realistic plot, and the writing is daring, unadorned and disturbing.