Tending to Virginia

Jill McCorkle, Author
Jill McCorkle, Author Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill $15.95 (312p) ISBN 978-0-912697-65-9
Reviewed on: 09/01/1987
Release date: 09/01/1987
Letting go is the theme of McCorkle's funny, wise and accomplished third novel, following The Cheer Leader and July 7th. Virginia Suzanne Ballard is 28 years old, eight months pregnant and not at all sure she wants to leave her family and move ""North'' (to Richmond) with her young lawyer husband. When stricken with toxemia, Ginny Sue is tended for a week by three generations of her family's women: Her favored grandmother Emily and great-aunt Lena, cantakerous and large-hearted widows not always willing to distinguish between past and present; her mother Hannah with her cousin Madge; and her own contemporary cousin Cindy, a brash and vulnerable, quick-spoken divorcee. Conversation among the women is woven of memories and half-remembered recollections, current misunderstandings, wishes, disappointments and a dark secret concerning Cindy's father, a Chevrolet salesman with an Egyptian obsession., With a sure touch and impeccable comic timing, McCorkle leads her characters to revelations and emotional relief during an afternoon when a tornado adds its own bit of havoc. As the family's history emerges from a flood of interrelated experiences, the narrative achieves coherent drama. This novel confirms McCorkle's place among other talented Southern storytellers. 25,000 first printing. (September 30)
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