The Queen of October

Shelley Fraser Mickle, Author Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill $15.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-945575-21-4
Infusing her first novel with black vernacular as convincing as Alice Walker's, imaginative metaphors that rival Maya Angelou's and humor as delicious as Zora Neale Hurston's, Sanders has created a refreshing new voice--that of Clover Hill, a motherless 10-year-old living on a South Carolina peach farm. When her father, Gaten, is killed in a car crash a few hours after marrying Sara Kate, a white stranger frowned upon by Gaten's black kinfolk, the young widow insists on raising Clover and helping her to accept her father's death. Shrewd, precocious and utterly endearing, Clover combines a little girl's tenderness with a mature woman's perception. In a child's simple, disorganized narrative dotted with deceptively sophisticated observations and characterizations, Sanders depicts a middle-class, superstitious, small-town South where desegregation has occurred politically but not psychologically. Sensitive and amusing, the novel cut this last comparison? weakens those above, and would need to be amplified to signify meaning to those unfamiliar with Ellen Foster also delivers an oblique but provocative statement about race relations. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 11/01/1989
Release date: 11/01/1989
Paperback - 308 pages - 978-1-56512-003-7
Prebound-Other - 978-0-8335-8497-7
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-56512-882-8
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