Buy it here or, if you are nearby, I made my local library buy it.
My friend Cecily recommended this book to me, describing it as Mockingbird-esque. That immediately grabbed my attention. I have both read and taught To Kill a Mockingbird. And I've often bemoaned the nonexistence of any other books by Harper Lee. So a book that was similar to Lee's classic... I had to read it.
Although I studied literature in college, when I read a book now, I'm reading purely for pleasure. This often leads to my being carried away by the great story and failing to notice the wonderful words with which it is being told. Susan Carol McCarthy's book grabbed me from the very beginning with her poetic language and made me notice the beautiful way it was told throughout, even amid the captivating story. It opens...
Most of the Southern Belle states chose their widest, wildest rivers and seduced them into hardworking husbandry. In Big Delta marriages that still prosper, Mississippi claimed her namesake, Alabama her Mobile, and Georgia her Savannah. But Florida- skinny, flat-chested baby sister to the Belles- had slimmer prospects. Rejecting old Suwannee, Florida chose the Orange Blossom Trail, not a river at all but a slick 600-mile highway that knew how to dance.
The story focuses on Reesa, a girl, not quite a young woman, growing up with her Northern family in Florida during all the race tensions of the late 1940s. It begins with the Ku Klux Klan mistaking her family's good friend, Marvin, a black teenager, for someone else. He is brutally beaten and left to die. This is the story of trying to bring justice for his death in a time and place where the county sheriff had his own white robe hanging in his closet. Through Reesa's story, and that of her brave family, we see how things were in Florida during this scary time when the Klan was taking action against blacks registering to vote and fighting for their constitutional rights.
This book has history, coming of age, citrus insights, Florida, tourism, baseball, etc. It's funny. Happy. Sad. Exciting. Scary. And I loved every page of it.