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Reviewed by Ray Simmons for Readers' Favorite
If Oprah Winfrey reads Struggles of the Womenfolk by T.M. Brown, it will probably be made into a movie one day. I say this because I know Oprah feels strongly about a lot of things, and two of the things she feels most strongly about are the struggles of women and the struggles of black people who grew up in the particular time and era of the South after slavery and before the civil rights movement. I was ten years old in 1968 so I missed the worst of the post-civil war life depicted by T.M. Brown in Struggles of the Womenfolk, but I remember the atmosphere of hate and oppression. Struggles of the Womenfolk opens in 1944 and the author captures the tone of the time and era brilliantly.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and compare Struggles of the Womenfolk to The Color Purple. Struggles of the Womenfolk worked better for me personally because it is less poetic and more realistic in my own humble opinion. T.M. Brown lets the characters tell their story and many of them are not poets, though their lives are the stuff that poetry is carved from. The dialect and dialogue are accurate. The depictions of black life at that time are accurate and direct. Struggles of the Womenfolk may be fated to become an American classic and for me it confirmed something I have always suspected: no matter how bad it is for the men, it is worse for the women. A great American novel.