It is the summer of 1964. In Tupelo, Mississippi, tensions are mounting over civil-rights demonstrations occurring ever more frequently - and violently - across the state. But in Paige Dunn's small, ramshackle house, there are more immediate concerns.Challenged by the effects of the polio she contracted during her last month of pregnancy, Paige is nonetheless determined to live as normal a life as possible and to raise her daughter, Diana, in the way she sees fit - with the support of her tough-talking black caregiver, Peacie.Diana is trying in her own fashion to live a normal life. As a 14-year-old, she wants to make money for clothes and magazines, to slough off the authority of her mother and Peacie, to figure out the puzzle that is boys, and to escape the oppressiveness she sees everywhere in her small town.What she can never escape, however, is the way her life is markedly different from the lives of others. Nor can she escape her ongoing responsibility to assist in caring for her mother. Paige Dunn is attractive, charming, intelligent, and lively, but her needs are great - and relentless.As the summer unfolds, hate and adversity will visit this modest home. Despite the difficulties thrust upon them, each of the women will find her own path to independence, understanding, and peace. And Diana's mother, so mightily compromised, will end up giving her daughter an extraordinary gift few parents could match.More
"Full of humor, devoid of self-pity, with lively characters that rise above their circumstances, this is the story of an adolescent accepting adult responsibilities, encountering the temptations of boys and booze, and experiencing the tensions between race and class in the 1960s." (School Library Journal)
"Berg's narration of her own work captures the sweetness and loss portrayed in this story. Without sounding maudlin, she conveys Diana's frustration at being both poor and a teenager." (AudioFile)
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I believe that this story will haunt you, in a good way. I find myself thinking about this book at odd moments in my life. I would recommend it for anyone who likes the kind of story that reinforces the ability of the human spirit to overcome.
I was drawn to it from the beginning when the author told how she did not want to write it...she prefers to come up with her own story ideas. the character whose mother this is based on came to her and asked her to tell the story she listened and.....couldnt NOT write this book
EVERYTHING. Like the movie To Kill a Mockingbird, it just stayed with me......and I felt like i could not stop listening.
The mother who made the best of a situation that most people could not imagine.
If you like Elizabeth Berg,or if you've never read her books, you will not be disappointed