Sunday, January 6, 2013

Raney by: Clyde Edgerton

Title: Raney Author: Clyde Edgerton Publisher: Center Point Large Print Pages: 287 (Large print edition)

I borrowed this book from my local library.

From the back cover:
Raney opens on the eve of the wedding of Raney Bell and Charles Shepherd, a young couple drawn together by their mutual love for bluegrass music. Raney is a small-town Baptist.  Charles is a big-sty Episcopalian. Though both are southern, Raney is cut from calico and Charles from tweed- and though their love is strong, their cultural differences are sometimes monumental.

This story is an excellent character study.  Raney is an old-south, small-town, Bible-thumping Free Will Baptist.  Charles is a college- educated big-city boy from Atlanta- the only child of a college professor and a teacher.  When these two marry, the culture clash is phenomenal.  Each believes that her/ his way is the only way.  Raney thinks alcohol is a sin and should never be touched or allowed in the home. Charles is unused to large, close-knit families, and is miserable at Sunday dinners with Raney's family. The story is hilarious at times- Raney's family insists on calling women's breasts "dinners".  When everything comes to a head and nearly falls apart, the two must learn to compromise or lose everything.
I enjoyed this story.  It made me laugh out loud at times.  People like Raney and Charles really do exist in the south.  Thankfully, most southerners fall somewhere in the middle.  The story illustrates what is best and worst in the south.

Read this story if....
*you love southern fiction
*you love the south
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