Genre: Fiction, Southern fiction
Published: June 29, 2018
This book took my breath away with its beautiful and emotional story of a family living in Memphis, TN in the early 70s. Millie and her older brother Finley are inseparable and she adores him.
On the second page we’re told something about the ending, so right away there’s tension as we watch the story unfold.
Millie has a kind of hero worship for her brother. He explains things to her, includes her, protects her and they have a close bond.
“In the dense woods surrounding our house, we built tree houses and horse corrals, just like the Cartwrights in Bonanza. We cleared the earthen floor with brooms made from twigs, and lined the boundaries with rocks we rolled heavily in to set the stage for cowboys and Indians because Finley liked creating imaginary worlds, and I never cared what we did as long as I was with him. “
The Crossan family matriarch is Posey and she is a southern girl through and through. She brings the children from Minnesota to her hometown Memphis after their dad’s drinking goes too far.
There’s no way to summarize succinctly everything that happens. We are observers as Millie and Finley grow up in the 70s in a town where image and reputation are everything. Alcoholism, mental health and religion also play a part.
The time period was captured perfectly, in all its hippie glory from the bell bottoms and drugs to the music scene. It’s southern fiction at its best – the genteel manners, the societal expectations of which schools to attend, the five o’clock mandatory cocktail hour, the “right” families, the “outsiders”, the polite denial in the face of something unpleasant – author Claire Fullerton brings the south to life in a way that reminds me of the late Pat Conroy. I was completely transported and engrossed and captivated.
“Your heart breaks only once in a lifetime. Every offense in its wake is only a variation of the original laceration.”
This is my first 5 star book of 2019!
About the Author:
Claire Fullerton hails from Memphis, TN. and now lives in Malibu, CA. Her third novel, Mourning Dove, is a coming of age, Southern family saga set in Memphis. Mourning Dove is the winner of the Literary Classics Wings on Words Award, the Bronze Medal winner in Southern Fiction by Readers’ Favorite, a finalist in the Independent Authors Network Literary/General Fiction category, and a Faulkner Society, William Wisdom International competition semi-finalist. Claire is one of four contributors to the book, A Southern Season, with her novella, Through an Autumn Window. She the author of Dancing to an Irish Reel, set in Connemara, Ireland, and A Portal in Time set in Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA. She is represented by Julie Gwinn, of The Seymour Literary Agency, and can be found on WordPress, Twitter (cfullerton3) Goodreads, Instagram ( cffullerton) as well as the website under her name.
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