Thursday, August 15, 2013

Whistling Past the Graveyard

Normally, I'm a reader of memoirs and foodie books and travel writing. It's very rare that a historical fiction novel will grab my interest, but something about the cover of Whistling Past the Graveyard compelled me to pick it up anyhow. I finished the book two days after starting it, and I'm still thinking about (and missing!) its characters. The story takes place in Mississippi and Tennessee during the height of the Civil Rights Movement and centers on an unlikely pair: 9-year old Starla, a short-tempered, tender-hearted white girl, and a fragile but courageous African American woman named Eula.

When Starla's strict grandmother punishes her one time too many, Starla decides to make her way to Nashville to live with her estranged mother Lulu, a famous singer. Just barely out of her hometown, Starla meets Eula and accepts a ride from her. As she climbs into the car, she discovers that Eula isn't alone, as she had appeared to be: instead, Eula has a baby--a white one--in her front seat. Soon, a series of traumatic events forge an incredible bond between Eula and Starla; they demonstrate that, despite what others around them might believe, love and friendship cannot be limited or defined by skin color.

~Queen of Books

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