Saturday, November 28, 2015

Clemenceau's Daughters by Rocky Porch Moore

"The Ballards live in the shadow of July Mountain. They are one step shy of overcoming the taint of poverty dogging the family since the Great Depression. During the excess of the modern 1980s, the Tennessee Valley still harbors a passing respect for the unexplainable and superstition. Roots cling to family trees like tendrils that tangle and tear to claim, not just birthrights, but bloodrights. Folks tend to die around Little Debbie Ballard. She struggles to make sense of a world where the unspoken past and prejudice collide, where truth is no longer as simple as Daddy's word, and cruel intentions transcend generations. Debbie must face the insidious legacy that haunts the women of her family, one by one. How does a family escape a past that refuses to die?"

This was a short read or maybe I just zipped through it in one long night because there was no putting it down. The story begins on a summer day when "Little Debbie" is 5 years old, and leaves us when she is only 13. I wish there had been more, I would love to know what kind of woman she turned out to be. Anyway Debbie at the start of the story is 5 years old and looking forward to starting the first grade when summer ends. She loves books, and imagines herself in the bible stories she reads. She hates being left with "Fat Sarah" the glutinous babysitter who spends more time stuffing her face than caring for Debbie and her baby brother while her parents are working. They live in a small rented house too close to a dangerous road where people tend to drive like maniacs and throw beer bottles out the windows. Debbie is wise beyond her years and later in flashbacks we learn of the heartbreaking story of her ancestors. I don't want to give away too much so I will stop here. This was a well written story full of heartache and hope.

I received an advance copy for review

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