Glory Lands by Vastine Bondurant is a powerful, gut-wrenching, and life affirming story that I will not soon forget.
The story starts off with a heart stopping scene that sets an underlying tone, but by no means is it representative of the overall feeling the story evokes. The setting of the story, both location and time (rural east Texas in the 30s—to start) seems tailor made for the events... unfortunately our modern society is often not much better, and that in and of itself is a tragedy. But I digress... or maybe I don't.
All I know is that as the characters were introduced, they became real people; what happened to them was immediate and right there in front of me. And even though I knew, just knew, that something awful was going to happen, I was so caught up in Emory Joe and Glory's story that there was no hesitation on my part. The positives far outweigh the negatives and I found myself incredibly satisfied as Vastine Bondurant's Glory Lands came to an end.
Story Description: A Texas Piney Woods Story
Rural East Texas, 1931. Preacher’s son Emory Joe Logan and a fiddler from Shreveport, Glory Lands, meet and form a tender bond. When they are caught and arrested for homosexual acts by Sheriff Elihu Bishop, the lawman’s sanctimonious bigotry threatens to rip the young men from their families.
Emory Joe’s father, Pastor Charles Logan, is brought to his knees in terror, confusion, and anger. He still regrets not standing up against Bishop when the lawman murdered a youth in cold blood nine years ago.
Now there’s no longer a choice for the preacher to stand up to the lawman. Cold-blooded justice, bigotry-disguised-as-religion, and hatred take on a whole new meaning when they’re standing on his doorstep, ready to take the son he loves.