Sara Flanigan, Author St. Martin's Press $15.95 (280p) ISBN 978-0-312-77519-3
""Nigger, don't let the sun set on you in Linlow,'' reads a sign outside Linlow, Ga., in the 1940s. It is a message that encapsulates the ugly bigotry of the town residents, with the exception of Sudie Harrigan, the wonderful 10-year-old who is at the heartand is in fact the heart itselfof this story. Ignored by her family, misunderstood by most of her peers, sexually abused by a schoolteacher, Sudie is a lonely girl who spends most of her time caring for wounded animals in her Secret Place deep in the woods. One day, while walking along the railroad tracks, Sudie comes face to face with a black manthe first she has ever seen. His name is Simpson; he is a widower who lives in an abandoned house, and he is as alone as Sudie. She fills the emptiness created by the death of his wife and infant daughter and by years of living in a racist society. He in turn gives Sudie the only kindness and love she has known. Although their forbidden friendship is doomed, it changes the lives of many in Linlow. Flanigan's inventive narrative techniquein authentic dialect, a young friend of Sudie's relays the tale as Sudie told it to heris very effective. This is an arresting first novel, and one of the saddest loves stories we've read. February 4
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-312-92501-7
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