By Sandra Nachlinger
I seem to read a lot of books that take place in the South. Though I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas, and lived near Houston for a while (and people tell me I have kept my Southern accent), it's been a long time since my home was below the Mason-Dixon line. But there must be a lingering influence from my childhood that makes these stories call to me. Here are a few I've enjoyed:
Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman takes twelve-year-old CeeCee from Ohio to Georgia in this coming-of-age story. When CeeCee’s bi-polar mother (the 1951 Vidalia Onion Queen) dies, the girl is sent to Savannah to be cared for by her great aunt. The aunt’s circle of eccentric friends adds humor to a touching story. I've been to the charming city of Savannah and can easily imagine all kinds of gothic, convoluted stories taking place among the moss-draped oaks and stately mansions. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil couldn't have taken place anywhere else!
Miss Julia Rocks the Cradle is one of about a dozen books in the series by Ann B. Ross. I've read eight of these books and enjoyed the antics of this spry senior citizen of small-town Abbotsville. Miss Julia is a fine, Presbyterian woman who knows what's right and what's wrong and doesn't mind taking action to fix whatever's askew. The series starts when her church-going banker husband dies, and she discovers he led a secret life—complete with young mistress and son! Miss Julia does the right thing and takes the woman and child into her home, and her orderly life is never the same.
The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg takes place in small-town Point Clear, Alabama. At age 59, Sookie Poole learns that she was adopted and everything she believes to be true about her ancestry is a lie. This book is about how Sookie deals with that shocking information. Should she track down her birth mother? Should she confess her knowledge to the demanding woman who raised her? What does she tell her children? With her trademark humor and insight, Fannie Flagg weaves Sookie's story with that of her birth mother, an aviatrix who served in the WASPs in World War II.
Dorothea Benton Frank's The Hurricane Sisters takes place in the Low Country of South Carolina. This story focuses not only on the relationship between three generations of women but also deals with abuse of women and date rape.
Do you tend to buy books that are set in a certain region or during a certain era? If so, what appeals to you?
By User:Gator87 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons