By: Caroline Miller
Harper & Brothers, 1933
In her book, Lamb in His Bosom, Caroline Miller portrays the lives of an extended family living in backwoods Georgia in the years leading up to and during the Civil War. It follows each member of the family through the years, focusing especially on the daughter, Cean Smith (nee Carver) who is recently married at the beginning of the book. Miller provides a beautiful description of the trials and joys of life and dependence on God in the rural South and I found myself truly drawn into the lives of these characters.
What truly interested me most about this book was the fact that I had also recently finished Gone With the Wind (Pulitzer winner, 1937). Both stories took place in Georgia in overlapping time periods but from opposite viewpoints. I believe that if Scarlett O'Hara lived near the Smiths and Carvers she would have dismissed them - using her term "white trash" - but these families were so much more. We see that, while they don't own plantations or slaves, they work hard and make a good living - even affording small luxuries at times. They know no other way of life and, so, have no other expectations than what comes. It was fascinating to compare the two stories of different classes of Georgians from the same period.
My favorite things to read about, whether it is fiction or non-fiction, are the ways that people live their lives everyday. Lamb in His Bosom provided me with a vivid picture of rural life unlike any I had read before. I wholeheartedly recommend it to all!
The image above is the original artwork from the first edition published by Harper & Brothers.