Monday, April 23, 2012

Leaving Gee’s Bend, by Irene Latham

There is a divide between Ludephia’s beloved Gee’s Bend and the “big city” of Camden.  Of course the whites around town see the divide as the river, but Ludephia is about to meet its racial divide first hand.

Eventually, Ludephia must cross that river in order to save her family, and she finds comfort and personal understanding in “pulling stitches”.  But no matter how many stitches she pulls through those scraps of fabric, Ludelphia must come to realize that not everyone wants her to succeed in finding the doctor who will save her Momma and not everyone who comes to Gee’s bend is there to help.   Like when the Boss’s wife sends her men to collect what Gee’s Bend owes her late husband, and Ludelphia must then return to Gee’s Bend to warn them before she takes everything.

 Based on the actual town of Gee’s Bend this novel is a great starter for other fiction, non-fiction and even children’s books about the Gee’s Bend Quilters, the mules from Gee’s bend and the personal connection this wonderful town shares with Martin Luther King Jr. 

Irene Latham has visited the Lafayette County/Oxford Public Library Books’N Lunch.  The historical quilts that formed this community have been displayed in the University Museum in Oxford.  The granddaughters of the original quilters have sung on Thacker Mountain Radio.

Reviewed by a staff member, First Regional Library

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