OUR BOOK TABLE
The House Behind the Cedars. By Charles W. Chesnutt. Houghton, Mifflin & Co.: Boston and New York. Price $1.50.
A Southern story, told with no little power and close faithfulness to life. Its tragedy and pathos take strong hold upon the heart. Alas for him (or her), however white and beautiful and cultured, in whose veins flows any drop of Negro blood! She is black in the eyes of the law, and is classed by every Southern community with the pariahs, the least contact with whom is pollution. As one's sympathies are drawn out by the narrative, which has the stamp of truth itself, he is constrained to cry out in curses on the harsh decree of the heartless society law which thus sets its seal of merciless condemnation on that which no justice condemns. The fate of the heroine of this story is most pitiful, and we breathe more freely as she dies on the last page, brokenhearted; it is the only solution of the difficulty. There was no happy, hopeful outlook for her in life. How far the state of bondage casts its scorn! How fixed the blight of color!
Rev. of The House Behind the Cedars, in "Our Book Table," Zion's Herald 78 (Nov. 28, 1900): 1526.