Published by Self Genres: Historical
Plumville, Georgia had an order to its way of life, and few ever upset it.
Benjamin Drummond is heir to all Plumville had to offer—wealth, good looks, and a promising career as a future state judge. As a graduating senior at a local college, he’s poised for success, if only he can keep his grades up. With the distractions of playing football, being in a fraternity, and having his pick of the women on campus, he has little incentive to study—until his assigned tutor turns out to be a black girl from his past who'd never left his mind...or heart.
Coralee Simmons is determined to make it out of Plumville with a diploma in her hand and dignity in her stride, despite a social climate determined to stifle both. And with her family and friends supporting her each step of the way, Coralee knows she will go far. Yet when her mentor provides a tutoring opportunity to increase her edge, she’s suddenly reunited with the white boy who'd meant too much to her as a child...and still did even now.
Set during the turbulent 1960s, Benjamin and Coralee experience change in a community unprepared and unwelcoming of it. Can a relationship rekindle and bloom under such adversity, or will it succumb in the battle for Plumville's status quo?
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You know when you find a book that speaks to you, and you’re like *gasp* “OH MY GAWD! THIS IS GREAT!!!”
That’s Being Plumville for me. I don’t know of many IR/MC readers who haven’t read it. If you’re one of the few who haven’t, hopefully, I can persuade you to pick it up.
Benjamin (aka Benny) Drummond and Coralee (aka Ceelee) Simmons grew up together in Plumville Georgia, and they were inseparable. You see, Coralee’s mom (Patty) worked for Benny’s parents. Kids, kids are smart. Children will adapt to anyone regardless of their skin color, their physical handicap, their class, their gender. Children see people as people and Benny is no different. He protects Ceelee from bullies; he’s her hero. He shares his books with her. They read together, play together, and essentially do things together that most children do despite Benny being a few years older than Ceelee.
The story begins with Coralee seeking out her mother to have an injury cleaned and bandaged after cutting herself while playing with the boys who reside in Benjamin’s neighborhood. The kids tease and taunt Ceelee because she’s black. The offending slur, “tar baby,” makes an appearance. Of course, Benny isn’t going to stand for it, so he punches the offender (good ole Tommy Birch) in the jaw (love Benny for that). Patty is disapproving of Benjamin’s behavior even though he was looking out for her daughter. Benjamin’s mother, Florence, overhears this bit of information and forbids Patty from bringing Coralee back into her home.
“This is not good, Patty,” Florence determined, the words surging out of her mouth. “Benjamin’s becoming far too attached to Coralee.”
I wanted to throttle that woman. Throttle. She was a hot mess personified. I felt sorry for her but even so, God don’t like ugly. The funny thing is, Florence already sees the connection between the two children before they have any idea what their future holds.
“If they keep on going the way they are, they’ll be in all sorts of trouble when they’re older.”
Benny and Coralee don’t cross paths for some years, but when they do, they’re both in college and things are awkward to say the least. Racial tensions are HIIIIGH.
Coralee thinks the Benjamin she once knew is gone. Benjamin thinks the Coralee he once knew has forgotten about how close they used to be.
Things heat up when this couple tries to fight fate, and when others who want to do everything in their power to keep them apart.
Ms. Frierson did one heck of a job with this story! Everything about Being Plumville was phenomenal. The writing, the pacing, the character development, the editing. All on point. If you’re looking for a historical read set in the chaotic times of the 60s, you should definitely add Being Plumville to your TBR pile. Not only is it a five-star read, it’s also one of my Top Rated reads! It deserves all the stars and then some.