It's the summer of 1967 and in Glen Allen, Virginia, something is happening. Nine-year-old Shirley isn't sure exactly what, though. More and more it seems her mother wants them to do nothing at all. But as her older sister Patty's 12th birthday approaches, Shirley can sense change looming on the horizon and is convinced it's up to her to protect her family.
In this wickedly observed story, an 11-year-old with literary aspirations learns from her best friend's famous mother how to dress, how to move, and what to say to become a cultural celebrity.
Though the conditional, erratic love she finds amidst the aisles and in the stockroom of a MaxRight grocery store is better than anything she's had before, Anna knows that if she wants to change her life she needs to start by changing her relationship to her married boss.
"Hard truth, beautifully told"
By turns comic and tragic, this novella centers on Sophie Floyd, a young woman who works at a Confederate Veterans Home in Culpeper, Va. It is 1913, and Sophie is in love with two doctors, the earnest and respectable Doc Minor, and the mysterious Dr. Satterfield, who supplies morphine to addicts. Dr. Satterfield pronounces an old man dead, only to have the man revive, celebrate at a brothel, and tell the press. The hardworking Sophie must tend the Home's elderly Matron while she decides which man she really loves.
In this magical tale, Great Aunt Faith invites the kids to choose their "own" trees in the ravine below her secluded house. Most of Faith's lessons are about birds and animals, but this one has to do with mysteries of life and love.
Short story told in a lyrical second-person voice. The speaker is a young girl whose narration of her uncle's visit reveals her troubled home and the way that she protects her younger brother.
"You" go to the party. "You" see your drunken father fall into the Christmas tree. To escape the teasing of the other kids and your own shame, "you" learn to dissociate from "I" in order to survive.