Home Across the Road by Nancy Peacock

Meet the Redd family: a formerly wealthy southern clan whose fortunes have fallen so far that the current generation is selling the family mansion.  Also, meet the Redd family: an African American family founded in 1855 when plantation owner Jannis Redd fathered a child by his slave.  For five generations the two family’s lives have been intertwined.

Currently, the African American Redd family lives across the road from the run down plantation called Roseberry.   China Redd cooked and cleaned for the white Redd’s for 48 years.  Before that her parents worked for them, and before that, her grandparents were owned by them.  Years ago, a terrible thing happened between the two families which has affected the fortunes of both families.  Locals tell ghost stories about Roseberry, and in 1965 the matron  of the Redd family who China worked for wrote a book called The Legends of Roseberry.  But there is no one left alive who knows the true story of the two Redd families, except China. Now she wants to pass them to her grandchild before she dies so that her family will always know the truth.

Although told primarily by China, different portions of the book are told from points of view of various members of both families, giving us a fuller picture of life on the plantation.  This is moving story, and is even more fascinating because it is set locally, in Chatham County, NC.

Find and request this book in our catalog.


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