Book Review: The Bequest of Big Daddy
Ratio Janson is the crusty patriarch with an infamous background, a hair-trigger temper reverently referred to as Big Daddy by his family clan. His feisty great-granddaughter Jo-Dee overhears shocking gossip at Big Daddy’s funeral and is determined to plumb his murky past, from Reconstruction to the present day.
The Bequest of Big Daddy is a character study of Ratio Janson that starts before he was born. Born to a cold, unloving mother and subjected to abuse growing up, it’s clear why Ratio grows up to be the tough, sometimes cruel man called Big Daddy. The majority of the story is set in old South and this was the part of the book I enjoyed the most. Ratio was not a likeable fellow but his story was authentic and captivating. I didn’t click with the modern day part of the story. Big Daddy was a legend that seemed to be admired by his family after he died and I just couldn’t relate. He was a interesting man for sure but not admirable, at least not to me.
My only other quibble with this book was the dialogue. The slaves’ speech was so muddled that I could barely read it, yet the white characters spoke almost perfectly clearly. This didn’t ring true to me but I’m not a historian so I can’t say for sure how people spoke back then. However, it seems like the white people’s speech would have more dialect to it.
Overall, The Bequest of Big Daddy was an enjoyable read. I think fans of Southern historical fiction will want to read the story of Big Daddy.
Thank you to TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book. You can check out the other stops on the tour here.