Friday, July 19, 2013

Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall

Love love love love love this book.  Okay, got that out of my system!  First, I admit - I'm a sucker for Southern literature.  Now,  I don't want to visit that part of our country, I never want to live there, I vote opposite of the red states every election, and would sometimes prefer for us to push the region off into the Atlantic Ocean - however, I do love their authors.  There's just something about a Southern voice, done well, that grabs me.  Crandall has written a 'road' story, a coming of 'age tale of the most distinctly anti-stereotypical little Southern girl since Scout Finch.  Starla is a red-haired, sassy, disobedient, love-starved little girl who lives with her grandmother Mamie, while her father works off in the Gulf.  Her dissolute mother up and left town when Starla was three, prompting grandma to constantly wonder if Starla inherited her genes.  After putting up with Mamie's treatment of her for ten years, Starla has had enough...thus the adventure begins.  We see the South through this little girl's eyes; after being raised to believe the treatment of blacks back in 1963 was "what they wanted" according to dear old grandma, Starla comes to learn differently.  She begins to see what real love is, to face her own fears and help others face their's, and to make her way in a world that is inherently unjust.  While no Atticus Finch exists in these pages, Eula, the black woman who 'adopts' Starla, comes mighty close.  This book would be loved by a middle-school girl up to a ninety year old.  Crandall tells a whopper of a story - I highly recommend taking this trip with Starla - it's a humdinger:)

No comments:

Post a Comment