Tag Archives: Fiction

Book Shout-Out: The Queen of Palmyra

The Queen of Palmyra by Minrose Gwin

Here’s the blurb from the publisher:

In the turbulent southern summer of 1963, Millwood’s white population steers clear of “Shake Rag,” the black section of town. Young Florence Forrest is one of the few who crosses the line. The daughter of a burial insurance salesman with dark secrets and the town’s “cake lady,” whose backcountry bootleg runs lead further and further away from a brutal marriage, Florence attaches herself to her grandparents’ longtime maid, Zenie Johnson. Named for Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra, Zenie treats the unwanted girl as just another chore, while telling her stories of the legendary queen’s courage and cunning.

The more time Florence spends in Shake Rag, the more she recognizes how completely race divides her town, and her story, far from ordinary, bears witness to the truth and brutality of her times—a truth brought to a shattering conclusion when Zenie’s vibrant college-student niece, Eva Greene, arrives that fateful Mississippi summer.

Minrose Gwin’s The Queen of Palmyra is an unforgettable evocation of a time and a place in America—a nuanced, gripping story of race and identity.

I plan to review this one closer to its release date (April 27, 2010) but I just finished it and I just had to post something about it…right now. A lot of you have heard about this book already but if you haven’t, I wanted to make sure you knew something about it because you’ll want to run out and get a copy of it as soon as it comes out.

I am enjoying Spring Break with my family and have spent the week with some wonderful books, this being one of them. I love it when a book leaves you with a good feeling inside. Anyway, I’ll post the review in a couple of weeks but for now, put it on your list. Yes, the list that is about a mile long already.

Wuthering Heights Wednesday: April 7, 2010 – Week 1

*This read-along has ended, but you can find all of the updates at the bottom of this post.

Welcome to Wuthering Heights Wednesday! Softdrink is hosting a read-along of this classic novel, and we’re reading (and posting about) 3 chapters a week.

Chapters 1 through 3

My Synopsis

Lockwood, the narrator of our little story, has rented a property owned by Mr. Heathcliff. Heathcliff is a terrible grump of a man and does not like people in general so when Lockwood shows up on his doorstep in the middle of a snowstorm, Heathcliff has no patience for him. However, Lockwood is a bit of a pest and invites himself to dinner and it is then that he meets the rest of the household.

Mrs. Heathcliff, although beautiful in face is a real B. Lockwood is taken with her to a degree but reads her all wrong and mistakes her for Heathcliff’s wife when in fact she is the daughter-in-law and a real thorn in Heathcliff’s side. There’s also Earnshaw, who Lockwood assumes is Heathcliff’s son even though he is sort of a ruffian in looks. We later find out that he is Heathcliff’s nephew and that Heathcliff’s son has been dead for some time. As you can see, Lockwood isn’t making any points with his assumptions.

After dinner Lockwood asks for an escort to take him back to his rental, but Heathcliff scoffs at this. Lockwood begins to panic a little as there is no way he can navigate back to his home in waist-high snow(he’s a bit of a wimp). He ends up spending the night in a room that Zilah, the housekeeper has provided for him, but the room is questionable as it is filled with the memories of Catherine, who I assume is Heathcliff’s dead wife. After a fit of sleeplessness, Lockwood does fall asleep only to be awakened by a horrible nightmare. You see, the room is haunted or at least appears to be.

My Thoughts:

Years ago I tried to read this book and could not get through it. I just didn’t have the patience for it. This time around though I felt as if the first three chapters flowed quite well and I actually had to stop myself from reading on. Heathcliff is a big grump, but I sort of like him so far. I don’t like perky people and he is anything but that. What a miserable group of people though!

Other Weeks:

Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6
Week 7
Week 8
Week 9
Week 10