I’ve seen a lot of John Grisham’s blockbuster movies, but I’ve never been inspired to read his books…until now. This week saw the debut of, Ford County, Grisham’s short story collection based on the fictional Ford County in Mississippi.
I’m hoping his fiction will give me some clues to my past.
While Grisham’s collection is based on a fictional location, turns out that there once was an actual Ford, Mississippi right in Jackson county where my Ford ancestors lived. On the website that gives some information about the now defunct town, there is mention of a black church which really stoked my curiosity. My great grandfather, James Ford was a minister at St. James, a black church in Ocean Springs. I’m looking forward to finding out how far apart the former Ford town was from Ocean Springs where my Ford relatives lived. I’m looking forward to combing through Grisham’s fictional stories for any hints about the real life town.
Monique, my 4th cousin and family research partner is the one who told me about both Grisham’s Ford County and the defunct Ford town in Mississippi. She sent me an email about the former on Wednesday, the same day the book was released. Later that day, my parents came over to babysit and my mom was armed with a thick copy of one of John Grisham’s novels. Mom’s always trying to get me to read Grisham and other thriller writers, but I always turn her down. So when I pointed to the thick book in the crook of her arm and asked her if it was the latest Grisham and if I could have a look, she was shocked. She didn’t even know there was a new Grisham, she said entreating me to tell her the plot. She beamed like an evangelist with a new convert when I told her I was buying Grisham’s new book this weekend. I didn’t have the heart to tell her I wasn’t investing in the thrill, just looking for clues.