I liked this book. It was fast-paced, kept you guessing, and had great dialogue. But, Laurel, the narrator of the book, definitely gets backseated by her smart-mouthed, roguish sister, Thalia. I didn't find Laurel to be a sympathetic character. But, then again, that probably was what the author intended. In the end, Laurel is to find out the reasons for her mother's, and ultimately her own, reasons for always turning a blind eye to the bad things in life. But, you get the feeling that unless she keeps Thalia around to be her moral compass, she'll always revert back. I didn't trust the backbone that she was supposedly was to have gotten in the end.
I kind of wavered on reading this book. Sometimes, civil rights books can be kind of "preachy", and never really resolve themselves at the end. But, this story was really more about southern relationships and the relationships of women at a very pivotal time in history. I really feel that listening to this story in the accents of its characters, lent it self to a greater understanding of the storyline, that simply reading it could not do. Minnie, Abilene, Hilly, and Skeeter will be characters that will remain in my mind, long after the book ended. Having grown up in the 60's and 70's with southern women much like these characters, I can about tell you how May Mobley will turn out, wise, empathetic and completely color blind.
I love listening to books by Southern authors, with Southern voices. The soft lilt of their voices make the story ride on a soft, clear wave. Even when the story has a lot of violence, the sound of their voices make you know, that in the end, everything will be okay. This was a good story full of the right amount of fear, hope, and humor. Rose Mae is a very believable character that is easy to relate to, even if the listener can't even imagine the life that she has lived. There's lots of mystery and anticipation that keeps you wanting to hear what happens next.
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