Crossing the River

Fenton Johnson, Author, Hillel Black, Editor Carol Publishing Corporation $15.95 (220p) ISBN 978-1-55972-000-7
Martha Bragg Picket is an original. Brandishing her confederate lineage and tossing her red hair, she crosses the river near her Kentucky home in the mid-1940s, stepping out of her fundamentalist Baptist world, and setting convention on its ear. Across the river, Martha crashes the sacrosanct male preserve of the Miracle Inn, orders a beer, and seduces owner Bernie Miracle, a Catholic. Their unlikely marriage endures for 20 years, puzzling their Catholic neighbors because it produces only one offspring. Martha's dormant expectancies of life are stirred by a slick, philandering Yankee contractor, with whom she enjoys a liberating though scandalous affair. Though this is essentially the story of a woman's awakening, not so much sexually as in terms of her identity, there are other battles between the sexes here. Johnson, recipient of numerous literary awards, is a storyteller of distinction. He knows the regional, religious and emotional insularity of his Kentucky characters and reveals them with sly humor. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1989
Release date: 09/01/1989
Open Ebook - 228 pages - 978-0-8131-6648-3
Paperback - 230 pages - 978-0-8131-6647-6
Open Ebook - 228 pages - 978-0-8131-6649-0
Paperback - 978-0-440-50334-7
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