Your audiobook is waiting…

Lum

A Novel
Narrated by: Janet Metzger
Length: 7 hrs and 5 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
5 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

In 1933 in the Shenandoah Valley, there isn't a place for Lum (short for Columbia), a 33-year-old intersex woman. She travels by schedule from one branch of the family to another, assisting with cooking, childcare, and housework. Always an outsider, even in her own family, Lum secretly collects postcards of people like the Dog-faced Girl, imagining their stories, and nurtures her lifelong friendship with Smiley, an African-American man who sells furniture, odds and ends, and a little moonshine. She makes friends with another outsider, a young Melungeon man from an isolated community high in the mountains, who is fresh out of prison.

Scenes from Lum's childhood and young adulthood are interspersed with chapters taking place in 1933, when Lum is 33 years old. But Lum's world changes when a local banker becomes ill and needs care. Sent to assist, she forms an unlikely friendship with the curmudgeonly old man. At the same time, the federal highway administration comes scouting land, wanting to buy the family farm for a new scenic highway. Lum's relatives don't want to sell, and they're not alone. As tensions over the highway escalate toward violence, and as loyalties are tested, Lum takes a bold step to create an independent life.

©2015 Libby Ware (P)2015 Libby Ware

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    6
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    7
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    6
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A story slow and winding like Southern honey

It is so rare to find an intersex protagonist!! It is also rare to find a book based in the South, recorded with a Southern accent that isn't horrendously fake (the voice of this reader lulled me into the tale every time I hit play). Finally, it's rare to find a book with such complex characters whom you hate with one page and learn to love the next, and a plotline that doesn't worry about being "fast-paced enough" or "action-packed enough." I felt like I was reading one of the classics with this text, from an era of writing that hardly exists anymore.

I also fell so deep in love with Lum, an intersex person assigned female at birth who relates deeply to side-show "freaks"; who works so hard to earn her* keep with family that just don't appreciate all she does; and who (spoilers!) finally finds the self-confidence and courage to live for herself and make her own way.

*I use "she" because that's what the text uses; there is no telling what pronouns Lum would use today and I appreciate that the author doesn't try to answer that question.