Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Queen of Palmyra

Mississippi in 1963 was not the best place to grow up poor. Florence Forrest, a soon to be 5th grader, lives in Millwood, a town divided by a wide color line. Her father sells burial insurance to poor people, her mother makes the best cakes around. Her grandparents live nearby and Zenie their maid, her husband Ray, and Zenie's niece, Eva ( a forward thinking young black woman), all help to care for Florence. After her mother disappears, Florence misses their secret, late night car rides to the bootlegger. Her abusive father has big secrets of his own. Forcing Florence to keep his secrets take a toll on the young girl, but Eva, and her family all help her survive and thrive.

Having read 2 books (the other, "The Help" ) about this period in American history, also a time I lived through, it took me back to the feelings of unrest, sadness, and I still question why people are so afraid of anyone who is not like them.

Minrose Gwin captures the period with an ear,and mindset, that rings absolutely true. The skill of the storyteller evokes the sights, the sounds, and even the smells of another time, one that we cannot afford to forget.

The story of Florence is yet another example of survival, and overcoming the sins of the father.
I highly recommend this one!

I received this book from Harper Perennial for review. Thank you!

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I just hopped over and am a new follower.

    This sounds like a book worth checking out. Just added it to my TBR list.