I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Queen Of Palmyra by Minrose Gwin
Published by HarperCollins on 2010-04-27
Buy on Amazon
In the tradition of Harper Lee's classic comes this story of 11-year-old Florence Forrest, an only child growing up in the Jim Crow South, forced to accept unsavory truths about her family.
Florence is, by all accounts, a happy, spirited girl. She doesn't understand why her father leaves each night with a mysterious box or why her mama drinks so much. What Florence knows are sultry days spent with her grandparents, being cared for by their maid, Zenie, on the colored side of town.
Tension builds during the summer of 1963. Mama bakes cakes at all hours to scrape by. And Zenie's niece Eva is in town, selling insurance to the blacks and stepping on Mr. Forrest's toes. When Eva is brutally assaulted, all hell breaks loose: Mama crashes her car, Florence's grandfather dies, a woman is murdered, and Florence finally gets a look in Daddy's box.
Florence sees things that summer that she won't understand for years to come: her mother's disappearance, her father's racism. Years later, she'll face the truth and how she was caught in the middle of it.†The Queen of Palmyra†is rich in both setting and characters. It's an affecting tale of a girl who is loved yet lost, trying to make sense of the world in a tumultuous time, finally forced to confront the sins of her father.
The pitch I was sent for The Queen of Palmyra by Minrose Gwin compared the book to The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Of course, I accepted. However, I would like to put this out there, I think that the comparison hinders The Queen of Palmyra. The only thing the two novels share is the same era and state. The Queen of Palmyra focuses on a little girl named Florence Irene Forrest. Florence is what those of us who are uncouth call white trash. Her family is poor, her dad is scary, and her mom finds solutions at the bottom of a bottle. Florence became eyewitness to the violence which plagued Mississippi during the 1960s.