Turnip Blues

Helen Campbell, Author Spinsters Ink Books $10.95 (256p) ISBN 978-1-883523-23-7
Mary Kuzo and Mary Lemack, the 75-year-old heroines of this heartfelt, occasionally cutesy debut, have been friends since the seventh grade and have seen each other through joy and grief (they have buried four husbands between them). So when the exuberant Mrs. Lemack decides to make a seven-hour pilgrimage from the western Pennsylvania town of Braddock to the Philadelphia grave of her idol, Bessie Smith, wry, arthritic narrator Mrs. Kuzo naturally (if reluctantly) goes along for the ride. Seated in the passenger's seat of Mrs. Lemack's Firebird, Mrs. Kuzo has plenty of time to remember her past, recalling the prejudice she and other Slavs faced as ""Hunkies,"" her economic struggles, her clashes with her family, their suffering over the death of a sister and the ravages brought down on them by class prejudice and alcoholism. Ably characterized and deftly comic, this elderly-widows-on-the-road tale is marked by a breezy style that makes a pungent counterpoint to the actual tribulations of both women's' lives. (May)
Reviewed on: 06/01/1998
Release date: 06/01/1998
Hardcover - 335 pages - 978-0-7862-1673-4
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