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.