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Keepers of the House is a masterpiece of history and race and the fragile yet tenuous ownership of land and love. Category: Literary Fiction Historical Fiction.

The Book Keeper

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Keeper of the House is an unforgettable novel narrated by the lively Minyon Manigault, a young black woman from a coastal South Carolina Gullah community. In , due to mysterious family circumstances, Minyon is given up by her grandmother to the employment of Ariadne Fleming, a white madam in the famously elegant brothel called Hazelhedge. At the age of fourteen, she becomes a pair of eyes and hands, watching and working almost invisibly in a world where men and women leave their inhibition, and their pasts, at the door.

As Minyon grows up in the household with other black people who provide behind-the-scenes support of Hazelhedge, she cannot escape her haunting childhood memories.

Keeper House Novel by Rebecca Godwin

Even while bearing witness to the events unfolding around her, Minyon seeks to find her place in the world, and her pace within herself. An absolute triumph. While painting a portrait of an imperfect but idealistic and dedicated woman, The Dragon Keeper also raises some difficult questions about the preservation of endangered species and our responsibilities for non-human animals.

It falls short of condemning zoos generally, but does illuminate some of the hazards to animals in zoos through the story of four reptiles helpless to escape human custody. Comment with Facebook comments. Thanks for reviewing this book, it sounds like one I need to check out. While I agree that people, especially children, need to see animals to appreciate them, I disagree that zoos are the best place for this.

I work with very unpopular animals, rattlesnakes, and I doubt that seeing a rattlesnake in a zoo display has ever changed anyone's perception of them as solitary, cold-blooded killers.


I take a different approach and have had some positive results. On my blog, I highlight aspects of snake, especially rattlesnake, behavior that is relatively unknown and sometimes human-like: they take care of their kids, they take care of their neighbor's kids, and they are social. When I do a display or presentation I bring along a group of misfit snakes who can't be wild again for a variety of reasons for people to meet.

Hi Melissa, I agree that zoos are not effective at forging personal connections between children and non-human animals. I'm glad that you are working on teaching children to love snakes. Melissa, I love that you are teaching children to love snakes!

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Most of all, I love how Mindy has made it impossible for readers not to fall in love with Komodo dragons! Midge, you make an excellent point: literature is a wonderful way to educate, raise awareness, and foster commitment and caring -- I really did want to play with those baby dragons in Mindy's book!

So, is it a good book? Forgive my pithiness, but I'm seeing a lot of discussion of the ideas in the book and the characters in the book, but not a lot about the book itself.

Do you recommend it?