It’s ridiculous how long it took me to read and review this book given the short length and my extreme interest in this author and this series. Let’s hope my distractions can be kept at bay!
A Most Precious Pearl takes us back to Winslow, Georgia, where Mags has been working in the local mill, earning $5 a week to help her family. Like Ruby, Mags is a spitfire, misses and loves her Uncle Arlo and her now-dead fiancee, both who died in lynchings for speaking their minds.
Winslow Newcomer Asa Thomas arrives to take Mags’ job, seeing as how he is a man, but taking the job is a cover for his real mission: He’s been sent by Ruby to a) deliver Mags to her, as she is pregnant and in need of help and b) write about the injustices that are going on in Winslow and report back for the newly formed NAACP.
Asa has some demons of his own, namely a missing leg lost in the war, not through valor but simply because a white man didn’t like him asking questions. When he lost the love of his life via an influenza outbreak, Asa is sure his life is over, not worth living. Until Ruby challenges him to get up and get on with his life.
I loved reading about Margaret and her journey from a determined, stubborn girl to a courageous woman in love. I was specifically tickled by her anger and jealous that Asa had been engaged to a white, french woman. As a dark skinned black American, she supposed that Asa would never deem her worthy. While nothing could be further from the truth, Asa’s missing leg made him feel like he could never be a whole man to Mags. *Cue the BIG MISUNDERSTANDING!*
Simply put, I enjoyed this novel SO MUCH! Ruby is still my heart but snappy, able bodied, ‘let’s whip this thing into shape’ Mags (Pearl) is a loveable character in a family full of young women who each have a purpose and a duty. I REALLY can’t wait to see what Piper Huguley has in store for the rest of the Bledsoe Jewels.