Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ladies of the South

If you are a fan of southern fiction the following books could just be the right fit for your summer reading.
The Keepers of the House by Shirley Ann Grau
The setting for the story is 1964 in rural Alabama and Mississippi. It covers seven generations of the Howland family who have lived in the same house and built a community around themselves. The title of the book is a metaphor for long established families of the deep south, their encounters with changing values, norms, hypocrisy and racism. The story is written on three levels: historical action, a love story and a focus on one woman's choices, her family and community relationships. The book won a Pulitzer prize.

The House at Sugar Beach by Helene Cooper
Helene Cooper's memoir brings the reader back to the years when she grew up in her family's home at Sugar Beach. This compelling story tells about the author growing up years in Liberia's upper class in the 1970's. Her family enjoyed the trappings of wealth and privileges. But in April 1980 her family's world was shattered when a ragtag group of soldiers executed the president of the country, his cabinet and overthrew the government. Some of the Cooper's family managed to flee to the United States and settle in North Carolina. The second part of the story focuses on Helene, her family's survival and pledge to bring their mother to America. The amazing part of this story is the determination of the author to overcame obstacles, get an education and find a job.

Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen by Susan Gregg Gilmore
The title alone just caught my attention!!!.
If you liked the writing style of Fannie Flagg Fried Green Tomatoes at Whistle Stop Cafe and Lorna Landvik's Patty Jane's House of Curl House then you will also enjoy this book which is written in a similar witty style. The setting is in Ringgold, Georgia in the 1970's. The heroine, Catherine Grace Cline is dying to escape the small town life for the big city life of Atlanta. Every Saturday she sits at the Dairy Queen eating dilly bars plotting her escape. When she finally achieves her dream to get to the big city, tragedy brings her home. A series of events alter her perspectives and opens up her eyes to what really is important in life. The author is quite skilled at capturing the characters and heart of small town life.

If you have any recommended titles I would be happy to post them

The abundance of Hydrangea bushes in southern yards prompted me to post a photo.

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