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Pawpaw Patch [Kindle Edition]

Janice Daugharty
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $6.99


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Book Description

Long awaited novel in ebook form--"Pawpaw Patch," by Janice Daugharty:

At forty, Chanell Foster is proud and popular in her hometown. Her beauty shop is more than her business--it is the town's social hub--and one's status in Cornerville is ensured by a standing weekly appointment in Chanell's book. But life in a small southern town can change without warning. For Chanell, it begins when several of her regular customers fail to appear for their appointments one morning.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Pawpaws (fruit of the papaya tree) may be described as mature, pulpy, fleshy, luscious, steeped, savory and done to a turn. Daugharty's (Necessary Life; Dark of the Moon) new novel, about the power of secrets shared and secrets kept, is all of the above and more. Rumor and gossip are society's sum and substance in this tale of Betty Jean Foster, 40, who changes her name to Chanell, "for a little class," before setting up shop as a beautician in the small town of Cornerville, Ga. Her beauty parlor quickly becomes a "a meeting place for women to air their unholy vanities, to let their hair down." But when someone spreads a rumor about her Creole blood, Chanell's friends, her customers, drop out of sight. She stops at nothing?even anointing herself with a little sardine oil and soot?to regain her life. "It's how you hold up under the weight of what comes down on you," she says. Daugharty invests her Southern setting with a richly textured, visceral reality. The plot sags at times, but readers' confidence that they're in the hands of a writer who knows her subject, as well as her craft, never does. Author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

In Cornerville, Georgia, women let their hair down at the beauty shop run by just-turned-40, newly divorced Chanell (born Betty Jean) Foster. Then, without warning, her business drops to nothing, and the whole town-swept by the rumor that she has black blood-shuns Chanell. With her only allies odd lawyer Archie Wall and ex-sister-in-law Bell, Chanell feverishly, sometimes outrageously, stands her ground, all the while fearing she would act exactly like the townspeople were the shoe on the other foot. Daugharty (Necessary Lies, LJ 2/1/95) seamlessly weaves into the narrative flashbacks of Chanell's childhood as an outsider in a small town while evoking an almost palpable sense of loneliness. Daugharty's growing reputation is bound to be enhanced by this book, which goes beyond regional fiction to take on universal issues. An exceptional read; highly recommended.
Michele Leber, Fairfax Cty. P.L., Va.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 340 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003YJEX70
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #663,904 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books ever written about race in the South September 14, 2007
Or maybe I should say about race in America -- not simply the South.

I read this book over a year ago and it still remains in my mind -- which indicates how powerful this book is. I started thinking again about this book because I have been reading "The Secret Life of Bees." The "Bees" book got me thinking, because it is so flawed with stereotyped characters and superficial view of race in the South. I found myself thinking about books I have read about race in the South and thought of at least two that are so much better (aside from To Kill a Mockingbird). One of these was "The Summer We Got Saved" and the other was this book. Either is so much better (but much less well known) than the bees book is. No stereotypes in this book -- no abusive men, abused orphans, wise black women, etc.

Instead, we get a believable story about a working class white woman living in a small town in south Georgia (same town she's lived in all her life) who one day finds herself shunned by everyone she knows. Her beauty shop business dries up overnight, and she is told that she is unwelcome at her church. She has no idea why, but it has to do with race, as she eventually finds out.

The crisis of her shunning and the resulting social and economic suffering move her painfully in the journey from being comfortable but without much depth or understanding, to going through the wilderness of shunning, to emerge having been changed for the better -- she understands so much more about others and herself. She goes from fitting in to someone who has changed so much she will never really fit in again, even when things get better. Her eyes have been opened. This life-saving growth in insight is where I would compare the book to "The Summer We Got Saved."

Although I have been trying not to accumulate books -- to pass them on after I have read them -- this book will remain in my collection and will be re-read from time to time.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars rich as mississippi mud pie July 5, 1996
By A Customer
Janice Daugharty's book jacket photo shows a middle-aged woman seated in a white wicker chair, wearing a prim, sailor-collared dress. If one were to judge by appearances only, one might expect stories about quilting bees and square dancers. Well, there is dancing in "Pawpaw Patch," but it's clogging, not square-dancing. And there are beauty pageants, and "mothers in corn-smudged frocks" and folks trading pickles for legal advice. However quaint this may seem, there is nothing cute about Cornerville, where Chanell Foster's beauty shop is the center of social activity. This is a seemingly modern town where people dress in Ralph Lauren and watch "Knot's Landing," but continue to call blacks "Negroes." Chanell and her customers are just one step removed from separate drinking fountains. When one of her childhood friends starts a vicious, racist rumor, driving her business away, Chanell is forced to confront her own prejudices and, later, those of the townspeople who have turned against her.

Daugharty tells this twist-filled tale in a voice that is as rich as mississippi mud pie. Every few paragraphs I found myself pausing to savor a particularly apt image - "cup handle ears," peacock tail feathers "sweeping the corn rows like the tulle train of a wedding gown." She also has a wonderful ear for dialogue and a genius for naming - to wit, Aunt Teat, Joy Beth and Linda Gay.

Swanoochee County, the setting of Daugharty's two previous novels as well as this one, isn't paradise - not by a long shot - but it's a place readers will want to visit again and again
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pawpaw Patch....a novel about racism December 2, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In PAWPAW PATCH Janice Daugharty takes us again back to Cornerville, Georgia in Swanoochee County that was the setting for her Pulitzer-nominated novel, EARL IN THE YELLOW SHIRT. This time the character who steals our hearts is Chanell, a hairdresser who works from her own shop that she has in an extension of her porch. Chanell used to be Betty Jean, but she changed her name to a French name because it was prettier and was "something with class." Some people still call her Betty Jean, but she's never liked it.

Usually Chanell's shop was busy from early morning to late afternoon with her customers watching the soap operas and catching up on the town gossip. Chanell enjoyed talking about the soaps, but she didn't like gossiping about others that much. She did just about everyone's hair she knew from high school and also from her church. Chanell kept up with the trends in fashion, hair and makeup via the soaps, not that she could afford the latest, but she tried to keep herself looking as good and as young as she could. Divorced from T.P. now, he just wouldn't leave her alone, and so she had started the rumor herself that she was marrying Archie Wall, the town lawyer and banker. It was all a lie, but she wanted to give her ex, T.P., something to really talk and think about. Chanell didn't count on her "impending marriage" being printed in the Sunday church bulletin.

As busy as Chanell always was with hair appointments, her business dropped off suddenly overnight. No one came in and the telephone went silent. There were no appointments and no one stepped in for even a haircut. Chanell had no idea why. She thought of all kinds of things, that maybe they all thought that she had AIDS because her ex-husband wasn't exactly faithful.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
Good story, a bit fuzzy at times, but less so than for Betty Jean! A nice snap into southern segregationism
Published 14 days ago by Claudia Angelini Bates
5.0 out of 5 stars I found this very interesting and a good read
It kept my attention all the way through. I got caught up with characters and couldn't wait to see how it all ended. Read more
Published 6 months ago by eve
3.0 out of 5 stars do not vacation in this town
A small, backwoods sort of town full of gossiping backstabbers for the most part. Demonstrates how judgments and prejudices can do so much harm. Read more
Published 8 months ago by KAREN B
2.0 out of 5 stars A weak 2 stars
I was annoyed that I even finished this book. A waste of time. poorly written. So the main character may be part black.......and she hates it so much she practically goes crazy. Read more
Published 8 months ago by O. Angelle
1.0 out of 5 stars This one was a beating.
I'm sorry I didn't care for this book because the story line had potential. The over use of adjectives and long drawn out descriptions were just too much and bogged everything down... Read more
Published 8 months ago by MBS
3.0 out of 5 stars Paw Paw Patch
With all the hype for this book, I could hardly wait to start reading. However, after starting to read this book, I was a little disappointed. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Linda Dickerson
4.0 out of 5 stars Book with a good moral about racism.
I enjoyed the book because it showed how you never know what could crop up in your life. I don't believe in judging anyone for there differences. Read more
Published on March 13, 2012 by Rose Johnson
3.0 out of 5 stars kinda like The Help on a white trash level
very mixed feelings about this book.

it's kinda like The Help on a white trash level.

the characters portrayed in this story are exactly why the world thinks... Read more
Published on February 27, 2012 by Elva Moser
4.0 out of 5 stars church on sunday morning
Being from the same general area as janice i understand her characters very well.[or think i do] Since there seems to be a never ending supply of these confused folks of which i am... Read more
Published on December 29, 2011 by marshall l dell
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and disturbing book~
The main character in this story is Chanell, but the supporting "character" is racism and the poison it spreads. Read more
Published on December 25, 2011 by SKRazz
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More About the Author

See for sample writings and more on me.

Fans will notice over a dozen short stories by me for sale in the Kindle Store. Though self-published, these stories are not file-dregs nor practice writing, but carefully written and edited works of short fiction that have been previously published in the finest lit journals; some picked up by annual and other anthologies. As with my novels, both ebook and print, I frequently offer my stories for free, at all online book sites, as introductions to my longer works of fiction.

Please check my author's pages everywhere for what's free and new; I try to often refresh my offerings.Also,I have a new novel, "Morning Shades," coming out soon from my current publisher BelleBooks.

Contact me via Facebook; I love hearing from you.
Janice Daugharty, writer in residence at Abraham Baldwin Agriculture College, in Tifton, Georgia

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