Four Spirits Naslund follows her 1999 novel, "Ahab's Wife" -- a 666-page historical epic about a 19th-century Nantucket woman -- with a similarly complex and ambitious book.… Four Spirits Naslund follows her 1999 novel, "Ahab's Wife" -- a 666-page historical epic about a 19th-century Nantucket woman -- with a similarly complex and ambitious book.… 2003-09-02 Fiction
Book Review

Sena Jeter Naslund (2003)

EW's GRADE
B+

Details Release Date: Sep 02, 2003; Writer: Sena Jeter Naslund; Genre: Fiction

Naslund follows her 1999 novel, ''Ahab's Wife'' -- a 666-page historical epic about a 19th-century Nantucket woman -- with a similarly complex and ambitious book. Set in 1960s Birmingham, Ala., ''Spirits'' traces the blossoming civil rights movement through a host of characters, including Fred Shuttlesworth, minister of the Pilgrim Baptist Church; Stella Silver, a local college student; and Ryder Jones, a bomb-crafting racist: ''He took down his Klan robe on its hanger and made the robe flutter in the air like a ghost. The way it rippled was noble, like a flag.'' Not many authors can juggle multiple points of view, but Naslund manages the task beautifully -- and brings a fresh set of eyes to an oft-visited period.

Originally posted Sep 19, 2003 Published in issue #729 Sep 19, 2003 Order article reprints
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