Each character is presented as faithfully and beautifully as the deckle-edged, black and white photographs neatly spaced on the big, black pages of my grandmother’s photo album. The people in Jordan’s book are fascinating because of their proximity to my own branch of the American family tree, but none were particularly lovable. Their attitudes are firmly moored to the mid-forties, and cause a frustrating friction with my own modern expectations. Surprisingly, embedded into the spine of Jordan’s book Mudbound is the scent of their cigarettes, their tears, and the oils from their skin. Hillary Jordan skillfully presents an unflinching gaze at a pivotal moment in American History. Although this was an uncomfortable read I will keep this book and read it again, and again.