In 1951 the body of an unknown white man is found in the Mississippi river along the Mississippi Delta. Two black men discover it while fishing. A young boy, Jake Conner, visits his country cousins in the small Delta town of Cotton City and begins parallel journeys discovering the dead man's identity and fate. Along the journey Jake befriends a stalwart black man recently back from the Korean War, who teaches him that Confederates were gray because they were merged in the black and white of Mississippi.
He learns of dark forces of the past, and with the camaraderie of his family, the acquaintance of a simple-minded sharecropper, and the eccentricities of a strange woman from the past, also gets a look into the future of the agrarian land of Mississippi.
Although the focal point in MISSISSIPPI COTTON is the Mississippi Delta, the story is more broadly a Southern story, which is to say an agrarian story. From the beginning, the North and South have been different worlds: The South the agrarian society, the North the navigation society. Nothing wrong with being either, but that s the way it has been. So when I write about Mississippi, specifically, I write about the South generally and an agrarian society generally.
"Reading this story of young Jake and his friends and the mystifying world of the adults was almost like tearing pages out of my own past and weaving a darn good story around them. I hope that Paul Yarbrough will continue to write books such as this one. This is a 10-star book and one heck of an excellent first novel. I'll be looking for his future works. Mr. Paul Yarbrough, you done yourself good. Keep writing. Everyone else, if you want a good clean story about what growing up was like in much of America for most boys in the 1950's then this is the book you'll want to read." ~Thriller Junkie