Jul 2, 2013

Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB; choose sentences from your current read and identify author and title for readers. First Chapter, First Paragraph is hosted by Bibliophile By the Sea.

Title: Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall
Published July 2, 2013; Gallery Books

Opening sentences:
July 1963
My grandmother says she will pray for me every day. Which was funny, as I've only ever heard Mamie pray, "Dear Lord, give me strength." That sure sounded like a prayer for herself - and Mrs. Knopp in Sunday school always said our prayers should only ask for things for others. Once I made the mistake of saying that out loud to Mamie and got slapped into next Tuesday for my sassy mouth. My mouth always worked a whole lot faster than my good sense.

Book description:
From an award-winning author,  a wise and tender coming-of-age story about a nine-year-old girl who runs away from her Mississippi home in 1963, befriends a lonely woman suffering loss and abuse, and embarks on a life-changing roadtrip.

Nine-year-old Starla Claudelle. born to teenage parents in Mississippi, is being raised by a strict paternal grandmother, Mamie, whose worst fear is that Starla will turn out like her mother. Starla hasn’t seen her momma since she was three, but is convinced that her mother will keep her promise to take Starla and her daddy to Nashville, where her mother hopes to become a famous singer—and that one day her family will be whole and perfect.

When Starla is grounded on the Fourth of July, she sneaks out to see the parade. Starla’s fear that Mamie will send her to reform school cause her to panic and run away from home. Starla is offered a ride by a black woman, Eula, who is traveling with a white baby. She happily accepts a ride, with the ultimate goal of reaching her mother in Nashville.

As the two unlikely companions make their long and sometimes dangerous journey, Starla’s eyes are opened to the harsh realities of 1963 southern segregation. Through talks with Eula, reconnecting with her parents, and encountering a series of surprising misadventures, Starla learns to let go of long-held dreams and realizes family is forged from those who will sacrifice all for you, no matter if bound by blood or by the heart. (publisher)

Based on the opening sentences and the book description, would you read on?

Thanks to the publisher for a complimentary review copy of this book.


Anonymous said...

I haven't read a lot of southern general fiction, I have read many mysteries set in the south though and I love it as a setting.

Suko said...

This sounds like a very good book, Harvee!

Yvonne said...

Another book I want to read...my TBR is going to be toppling soon...or I should say my Kindle will explode. LOL

Laurel-Rain Snow said...

I do love that expression: "slapped into next Tuesday." Sounds like something my grandmother might have said (my cranky grandmother...lol).

Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

Unknown said...

This sounds like a good story. Enjoy!

Paulita said...

The title is fun and I like the intro. The cover is phenomenal. Here's Mine

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I like the intro and think this would be one I'd enjoy -- hope you do as well.

Brian Joseph said...

Very well written beginning. Based upon this and the premise I would definitely go forward.

Literary Feline said...

I love that opening! Not to mention the title.

Pooch said...

Fabulous opening--smiling right from the beginning of the story! I'd read on to see if it gets too sad for me to continue.


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