Win tickets to see the smash hit musical Mamma Mia at the Roanoke Civic Center. Two winners will each receive four tickets!
By Susan Rebecca White. Touchstone. 336 pages. $25
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Three individuals search for a sense of belonging in New York City. The first, the gay son of a Baptist preacher father and the quintessential Southern homemaker mother, flees to New York to escape the oppression of the Deep South and of his own family.
The second, a middle-aged housewife from Connecticut, coming to terms with an empty nest and a loveless marriage to a borderline-abusive husband, seeks the refuge of her aunt and the excitement of the big city.
The third, a black woman who grew up in the Jim Crow South, escapes to New York in search of her brother, a boy she hasn’t seen since childhood and with whom she once shared an inexplicable connection.
Author Susan Rebecca White, who once taught creative writing at Hollins University, has crafted an engaging story of these three characters and the paths that led each of them to New York City and each other.
The majority of the story takes place in the early 1980s, with the AIDS epidemic factoring heavily in the plot. White captures the atmosphere of panic within New York City’s gay culture in a way that makes the narrative seem like memoir rather than fiction.
Food also plays a key role in the story: the preparation of food as a means to socialize, to provide comfort, to show love; food as art. Feeding people and all that goes with it.
Each character uses food in some way to fill the hole created by being abandoned by family. Both the preparation and eating of food binds these characters together in many ways.
White’s novel is a story of acceptance, of finding oneself, and of healing, with the ultimate message being that family can — and must — be chosen and made when the one into which you are born rejects you.
Weather JournalNext system: Possible ice/snow Sat.