In the Land of Cotton
Written historically authentic, Jenice Graham Benedict’s true-life novel, IN THE LAND OF COTTON, tells of her family through seven protagonists. The novel is set in America’s mid-nineteenth century, moves forward a hundred years through the Second Industrial Revolution, and ends in the modern twentieth century. Each of the characters typifies a segment of the American dream, living it in his or her own way, along with their sacrifices. Benedict’s epic is geared to American history lovers, Civil War buffs, true love romantics, adventurists, genealogists, Christian faith groups, and Southern culture aficionados.
The four parts of the book are written in either first person or third person to deliver the unique personality of each character. Beginning with the author’s great-great-grandfather, read how dutiful Andrew Hancock wished to exercise the fundamental right of the pursuit of happiness and was willing to fight for Alabama and his family’s way of life as a Confederate soldier in the Civil War. Learn how Talitha Polk Hancock struggled to conquer personal tragedy and gender inequalities while her young son, A.J., relentlessly worked as a cotton crop field hand during Reconstruction, to lift them both out of poverty. Understand how Marcus Boone achieved his dream of owning farmland in North Texas while his wife Callie struggled to keep their dugout homestead intact and family fed in ruthless conditions. Appreciate how Methodist circuit rider preacher Reverend M. L. Boone and his wife Ruby wished to serve God by faith and example, and spent their lives helping others in Texas to achieve Christian salvation.
The novel’s characters constantly struggle to keep their health, stamina, faith, and love intact while adapting to their fates in isolated Southern communities. Many of the protagonists live without electricity or conveniences, and experience volatile social unrest, bankruptcy, epidemics, bigotry, gender disparity, two world wars, and the stifling subjugation of economic depression. In due course, some benefited from the upturn of urbanization, medical advancements, national prosperity, and lastly, the Technological Revolution with its marvel of mass communications, computers, nuclear power, and the Space Age.
IN THE LAND OF COTTON is a novel about the enduring essence of family and the incredible resilience of the Southern American spirit. No matter what genre is favored, clearly first-time novelist Jenice Benedict is a new, creative voice in the literary world.