I love this book. It is short, so sweet, and meaningful. It's one of those books that I've walked around with in my head for days after I finished reading it. It is a deceptively simple story of loss and love. Even weeks after I finished reading it, I keep thinking about it. Read this book.
This slim, Pulitzer-prize winning novel is a gem. Our book group (which reads only prize winning novels) includes a number of Southern ladies, and the story resonated with many of them. I, a Northerner, was quite skeptical and began reading with an 'I don't like Southern women writers' attitude. The first section reaffirmed my skepticism, but as I made my way through sections two and three, my appreciation grew. By the time I finished, I realized what a remarkable piece of writing this is. I'd give it five stars save for the fact that several of the characters come across as a caricature of the type they represent, rather than real people.
The story of Laurel McKelva Hand, a young woman who has left the South, and returns, years later, to New Orleans, where her father is dying. After his death, she and her silly young stepmother go back still farther, to the small Mississippi town where she grew up. Alone in the old house, Laurel finally comes to an understanding of the past, herself, and her parents.