Bell Bridge Books, 2011. ISBN 978-1-935-66192-4.
Reviewed by Trilla Pando
Posted on 04/25/2011
Wild and wet and beautiful, the land in and around the Okefenokee Swamp far in the south of Georgia seems almost uninhabited to a passing traveler. But not so. Janice Daugharty skillfully tells the story of three generations of Alexander women who love the land—their land. Pinkie Alexander cherishes her granddaughter May, who years later shows the same devotion to her own granddaughter Sara Ann. Both impart the love of the land, this particular land, Big Eddy, the family plantation.
It is this love of place that permeates the unfolding of the Alexander family saga. To my mind, this is as much a novel of place as of family. A south Georgia native, Daugharty knows the land well, and loves it. Her emotions shine out when she describes the massive oaks and the tiny family cemetery.
She captures the personalities of the people not only in the major characters but in some of the less prominent ones. On a personal note, I lived in rural Georgia for many years. As I read, it seemed I recognized some of the people I had known there. It was a delight to visit them again.
A prolific writer (seven novels and a collection of short stories) Janice Daugharty's 1997 novel, Earl in the Yellow Shirt was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Daughatry still lives in her native Echols County, Georgia. She is writer-in-residence at Abraham Baldwin College in Tifton, Georgia. Visit her website.
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