Top critical review
I recommend reading previous two books first
Reviewed in the United States on May 4, 2020
This book is a 3-rd installment in three book saga. First of all I wanted to state that I loved the first book, “Yellow Crocus”. I would give it 6 stars if I could, the extra star because of absolutely amazing audio performance by Bahni Turpin. The story starts from introducing a very young white daughter of plantation owner, Lisbeth, and her slave black nanny, Mattie. The multiple friends and members of extended families of both of them are the other protagonists in the story that follows 4 generations. The second book, “Mustard Seed” was an enjoyable solid 4 stars read for me. But I found this third book, “Golden Poppies”, the weakest in the series. First 30% of the book is mainly a recap of previous 2 books. Also later on big fragments of narration relate to the past events in the lives of multiple people. Even though I read previous books, it was a while ago, and it was quite a struggle to keep track of who is who and what happened to them in the past. The historical/sociological/political background which is there is full of details but delivered in kind of dry way, and often feels almost like forcefully introduced into plot. As a result book does not read smoothly and I failed to develop much of the emotional involvement with any of the main characters. So it was just the 3 stars reading experience for me. But, again, first book was great and I was glad to learn what happened to Lisbeth, Mattie and their families.
My advice to potential readers is: read all three books in order and, unless you have a perfect memory, do not wait a year between reading them.