The Cotton Queen by Pamela Morsi
Challenges: Southern Lit Challenge, Mt. TBR, 2012 TBR Pile, Out Do Yourself
A mother/daughter tale, eventually encompassing 3 generations of southern women which captivated me from the first page. Southern set books always seem to capture my attention, but add in the setting of the 1950's and 1960's and I am really hooked. As we are introduced to the debutante, beauty queen southern way of life so often portrayed in this genre, we are also taken on a journey of a changing world and culture as seen through a mother and a daughters' eyes at the same time. Being the mother of a an adult daughter who is a mama herself I have experienced a bit of this myself--I have been heard more than once saying things like, "I don't understand your generation"! :) Bad things happen and good things happen, family relationships are torn apart and some are mended--a lovely ramble of a story.
From the book:
I am not, nor will I
ever be, the kind of woman who wears pearls with her apron while cooking
meat loaf for her husband. But when I was a kid, my mother, Babs,
prepared me to be the next June Cleaver -- teaching me lessons that
belonged to another era. Another world, practically. My mother's world. I
couldn't wait to leave home and get away from her. But now, well . . .
let's just say life hasn't turned out quite as I'd planned. And heaven
help me, I'm going home.
Laney Hoffman -- Cotton Queen, 1975
It's funny -- all I
ever wanted was to teach my daughter, Laney, how to be a lady so she
could find a good husband and take her rightful place in our community.
But Laney has always remained convinced that my life and my ideas are,
well, pathetic. She has no idea -- no idea! -- what it is to lose a husband, to watch your dreams wither while keeping a smile on your face for the neighbors. Now, that
is a talent. Laney is probably too smart for her own good, but being
smart hasn't kept her out of trouble. Thank heavens I'm here to help
pick up the pieces.
Babs Hoffman -- Cotton Queen First Runner-Up, 1956