In the deep South, where love and hatred run deep and close, dissension often summers just beneath the surface.When a family gathers for a funeral as its old homestead above the waters of Mobile Bay, it must carry out the last wish of the aunt and sister whom it has come to mourn. It is a wish that will unearth a terrible secret, one that will either tear her siblings and their offspring apart or allow them to accept buried memories, wounds , and love.
In This and Magic Life, Anne Carroll George has created as brilliant portrait of a Southern family in all its glory, captured in a moment of searing intensity and lyric truth. Rich with wisdom and deep understanding this compelling saga the twentieth century -- and tells a story that is truly timeless.
Award-winning author of the Southern Sisters Mysteries (Murder Shoots the Bull, etc.) and former Alabama State Poet, George proves she can smoothly shift genres in this silky and passionate literary novel. Sullivan family members are returning to their sleepy Harlow, Ala., hometown to mourn the death of 58-year-old Artie (Artemis) Sullivan, a spunky and talented painter. Her twin brother, Donnie (Adonis), and younger sibling, Hektor, along with Donnie's wife, Mariel, and their daughter, Dolly, learn more than they expected. Artie's death has her loved ones ransacking their memories to hold the truths, half-truths and outright lies of their lives up to the light. Upset by Artie's wish to be cremated, Mariel produces a fake funeral to keep up appearances, while she examines her jealousy of Artie's intense bond with Donnie and Dolly. Donnie and Hektor unearth painful memories about their parents' early deaths and their mother's mental instability, seductive beauty and affair with neighbor Zeke Pardue. They also reveal a dark, decades-old family secret that only Artie's death could bring to the surface. The narrative can be confusing as it haphazardly switches points of view: some chapters are in the third person, others are written in the voices of various characters. But perhaps the polyvocal approach is an adequate device to explain the myriad entanglements and reveal the harbored secrets of this family. Sad moments include a father who accidentally kills his baby by leaving her out in the hot sun while he passes out drunk; a more subtle passage features Artemis making love with her cousin Bo. Drawing on her poetic roots, George's assured, soft Southern prose is full of symbolism and lyrical phrases, with much stargazing, Greek mythology and rising and setting suns to infuse the homey story with a mystical aura. (Sept.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Showing 1-1 of the 1 most recent reviews
1 . Southern Sisters Mysteries
Posted June 28, 2012 by Laquana Massey , Oneonta, ALI love all of these books. So much fun. I knew the places in the books and that made the books even more enjoyable!
I knew Mrs. George (as I have always called her), even better. She was my English teacher when I was in the seventh grade. She gave me a love of Literature that has grown greater through the years. I would watch her while she read poetry on the Spoken Word Stage at City Stages. I couldn't help but smile, and sometimes feel sorry for myself, because I was grown and she was no longer my teacher. I have found that she still and always will be my teacher.
The loss of Mrs. George was and still is hard to take, but I can still hear that sweet southern voice when I read and re-read her books.
February 05, 2001
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