Sunday, June 8, 2014

'Mater Biscuit by: Julie Cannon

Title: 'Mater Biscuit Author: Julie Cannon Publisher: Simon & Schuster Pages: 269 Copyright Date: 2004

From Amazon:
From the author of Truelove & Homegrown Tomatoes comes a heartwarming story of three generations of Southern women working to mend the rifts of the past and set paths for the future.

It is summer in Euharlee, Georgia, and Imogene Lavender's garden is bursting with snap beans, okra, and tomatoes. The household -- made up of Imo; her daughter Jeanette and her new baby; and Lou, Imo's niece -- is about to grow as well. Imo's estranged mother, Mama Jewell, has begun to show signs of senility, and Imo has decided that it is her duty to take her mother in. Mama Jewell brings with her some secrets from the past, including the story of Lou's mother, a revelation that sends Lou in search of her ne'er-do-well father. For Imo, who is feeling the squeeze of being in the middle of the generations, Mama Jewell's temperamental nature stirs up long-buried memories of a difficult childhood. And much to everyone's surprise, wild Jeanette is so determined to find a husband that she joins the church choir to be closer to the handsome and enigmatic young reverend. 

'Mater Biscuit is a wonderful evocation of small-town life in the South, a world where hard work and prayers unite the community. Life isn't always easy for Imo and her girls, but they have only to look as far as Imo's beloved garden to be reminded that all things change with the seasons.

I enjoyed this southern novel every bit as much as I loved Truelove & Homegrown Tomatoes.  'Mater Biscuit is a slow-moving novel or small-town Georgia as it (believe it or not) really is. Imo has to take in her mother after her dementia gets her kicked out of her apartment in a home for the elderly. This is hard for Imo, not only because she is already raising her own child, Jeannette (a teenage mother) and her baby and Loutishie (the child of her deceased sister) but also because Her mother was such an abusive mother. Imo is flooded with unpleasant memories of her terrible childhood at the hands of this woman and finds it hard to give her the care she needs. As she struggles to care for her mother, she grows more distant from Jeanette and Loutishie and neglects her friendship with her best friend Martha. The only thing that gives Imo solace is her precious garden. This is a heart-warming story of forgiveness that teaches the true meaning of family.

Read this novel is....
*you love southern fiction
*you love small-town novels
*you love women's fiction
*you love stories about family

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