Len is still young, but she was born with strong intuition. She often knows what the day will bring or how others are feeling. And she knows that someday she will find her father. She lives with her mother, Cora, on her grandmother’s flat, dusty Texas ranch. Aunt Cisley, married to Cora’s brother Bo, brings the news that Aunt Jean has shot her husband, Roger. He is in the hospital and might not make it.
Jean is in jail, and she seems confused about how long she’s been there. Her public defender explains what will happen, and Jean seems to have trouble focusing on the here and now. She thinks back to when she met Roger and how they came to be together. She wonders if she was crazy back then.
Cora thinks back to a summer between her college years when she met Len’s father. Edison was handsome and sweet. Cora fell for him hard and fast, and she really believed he felt the same about her. It was a whirlwind romance and suddenly Cora was pregnant and Edison was gone, leaving without a word. Cora’s mother has always been convinced that Edison truly loves Cora and would come back for her and the baby someday.
The story is written from the points of view of Len, Cora, and Jean, each telling her own story. There are basically two time periods. For Cora and Jean, readers hear the stories of their time as young women starting their own families—Jean with Roger and their son Lucas, and Cora as a single mother when she has Len with the wonderful support of Cora’s mother as well as the time when Jean is in jail and Cora is mother to a budding young woman.
All three of these characters have real strength, although they have times when they doubt themselves. But as Cora and Jean examine their lives, they both discover a great deal about themselves. Cora’s and Jean’s stories seem to run in parallel while Len tells her own story now and then. Readers might sometimes wonder whose story this is, but that all comes clear at the very satisfying end.
The writing is strong throughout, although the author’s voice is much clearer than the voices of any of the three women. There is no real distinction between them. But the storytelling is sound and the stories of all three of the women are compelling. The characters, the three women and the supporting characters, are all well-developed and interesting. The problems they face are realistic and believable. The book could benefit from a good round of copy editing from someone with a good foundation in grammar, but otherwise, this is a fine story.
|Mint Hill Books (imprint of Main Street Rag Publishing Co)
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