Cassius is a simple man guided by the iron fist of his
master. Like his fellow black men, his every move is
dictated by the one he most fears. As the Civil War rages
on, the future of slaves in the South hinges on the tiny
shred of hope that Abraham Lincoln and his Union Army will
soon defeat the Confederacy. Until that time comes, he
must face the utter degradation of his people whose spirits
are struggling to be set free.
Sweetsmoke has seen its fair share of hard times.
Its owner, Hoke Howard, does his best to keep his beloved
tobacco plantation alive despite the setbacks to the
Confederacy. To him, his slaves are just property to do
with as he pleases except for one...Cassius. Named by him at
birth, Hoke feels a special bond with this man as if the
two were bound by blood...father and son. Despite his
fondness for him, the two are not equals. Hoke is the
master. Cassius is his servant.
When Cassius learns of the death of Emoline, a
mother-like figure who once nursed him back to life, his
search for her killer begins. Tired of watching his people
suffer, Cassius seeks revenge for her senseless murder
vowing to bring her killer to justice. Using his
relationship with Hoke to his advantage, Cassius is able to
sneak off the plantation to discover a country of full of
deception and despair. When the opportunity to flee is
practically put into his hands, Cassius is forced to choose
between life and loyalty. Will he remain true to the only
family he has ever known? Or has the taste of freedom
robbed him of his soul?
SWEETSMOKE is the first novel by David Fuller, best
known for his successful screenwriting career. Through
numerous years of research, he is able to bring to light a
poignant story that beautifully depicts the harsh realities
and turbulent times of the Civil War. If you read but one
book this year, without a doubt make it
The year is 1862, and the Civil War is in full flame.
Cassius Howard, a slave and carpenter on a tobacco
plantation, risks everything – extreme punishment, sale to
a cotton plantation, even his life – to learn the truth
concerning the murder of a freed black woman, a woman who
secretly taught him to read and once saved his life. No
one gives a damn about her small, rude, unimportant death
in the midst of a brutal and hellish war. No one but
Cassius, who braves unimaginable dangers to escape the
plantation and avenge her death.
Sweetsmoke is Cassius's journey into knowledge,
knowledge that tests him and very nearly destroys him,
ultimately guiding him toward freedom.