Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Essential Reading: History

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This month Literary Mamas take you back in time with these interesting titles! Enjoy!

Download the list to find it fast at your local bookstore or library.


Caroline Grant, Editor-in-Chief and Columnist writes, "I love Melissa Faye Greene's book, Praying for Sheetrock, which tells the story of how the Civil Rights movement finally came to McIntosh County, Georgia, in the mid 1970s. The community was so isolated many residents spoke Gullah, and most lacked indoor plumbing, electricity or telephones. Greene was a paralegal who worked with a group of Legal Services lawyers and county commissioner Thurnell Alston to end the 'good old boy' patronage system. The title refers to the fact that members of the community supplemented their lives and incomes by things that fell off trucks as they drove through the foggy, twisted roads of McIntosh County; new shoes, clothes and food came to residents this way, and folks prayed for what they needed even more. It's a fascinating piece of American history that Greene's writing makes as vivid and engrossing as a novel."


Co-Editor, Alissa McElreath, says, "I can't put down Jean Kwok's Girl in Translation, a coming of age story narrated by an extraordinary and sympathetic 11-year old Kimberly Chang, who finds herself suddenly transplanted from Hong Kong to New York with her mother. They were promised 'a new life' by Chang's aunt, her mother's older sister, but instead they find themselves living in a roach-infested shoebox-sized apartment, and both Chang's mother and Kimberly are forced into working in a sweatshop (run by Chang's sister and wealthy husband) in order to scrape a living. Kwok's novel not only beautifully captures the voice of young Chang, but it's also a compelling and touching tale of a mother and daughter -- 'mother and cub' as Chang's mother often reminds young Kimberly -- who together navigate the confusing and cold landscape of this new world, with dignity, love, and unimagined strength."


Suzanne Kamata, Fiction Co- Editor, shares, "Beth Kephart's slender novel Dangerous Neighbors concerns a young woman mourning her twin against the backdrop of the Philadelphia Centennial fair of 1876. Although published as a young adult book, it's really for everyone. Kephart's writing is exquisitely detailed, and in this book she may well have written the most beautiful description of a fire ever."


Katie de Iongh lives in Rye, New Hampshire with her husband and their three young children. She is a community volunteer, freelance writer and college English instructor.


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