From Publishers Weekly
"In the moonlight she fantasized that she and Browder were silver people, not black or white, but only different shades of pure sterling." The fantasy belongs to beautiful Crow, whose mother, Tee Wee Weathersby, cooks for Browder's mother, Euylis Parsons. Crow and Browder love each other truly, madly, deeply, but it's 1958 in Zebulon, Miss., and race is fate. Bestseller Marshall (Walking Through Shadows) is an extraordinary storyteller. A master of spoken and internalized speech, she keeps the reader in intimate proximity to her large cast as she weaves her various plot threads, moving deftly from 1940 to 1968. There's laugh-aloud humor in the ferociously competitive friendship between Tee Wee and Icey Hamilton, who hires on as the Parsonses' maid and moves into the other tenant house on the farm; the scene in which the two women mud wrestle is priceless. And there is plenty of heartbreak, too, particularly when Icey loses her son Memphis in a senseless accident. Marshall's great triumph is her ability to convey the humanity of all her characters, male and female, black and white. Even those stock villains of Southern racism, the sheriff and the district attorney, seem victims of an inherited ethos. There's a touch of Hollywood in the long homicide trial at the end of the book, but Tyler Powers, the long-haired, Harvard-trained white lawyer whom Crow hires to defend her little brother, J.P., beautifully makes the point that in Mississippi of 1968, it's the whites who need to be freed.
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“An old-fashioned Southern family saga and a page-turner, a wonderful blend of comedy and tragedy. This novel takes on, without fear, the complex truths and ironies that make up black-on-white life in the deep South. Bev Marshall knows her land and her people. These voices ring true.”
—BRAD WATSON, author of The Heaven of Mercury
“Bev Marshall has managed the rare feat of mixing history and fiction, memory and magic, and she has accomplished the all but impossible task of writing about race in a way that is utterly generous, without censure, apology, or fear. . . . After this one book, she’s one of my favorite writers. I look forward to reading everything she’s written and is going to write. It’s not often that a writer’s staying power is so evident so quickly.”
—KAYE GIBBONS, author of Ellen Foster
and Divining Women
“Right as Rain
is a saga in the best sense of the word. . . . Marshall has put her heart and soul on the page for the reader and the result is a novel so haunting and beautiful that it will stay with me always. This book firmly establishes Bev Marshall as one of our most amazing and vivid American voices.”
—SILAS HOUSE, author of A Parchment of Leaves
and Clay’s Quilt
“I marvel at the wisdom tucked away inside these pages, at the generosity and artistic grace on display here. This is a fine, fine book.”
—STEVE YARBROUGH, author of Prisoners of War
and The Oxygen Man
“Bev Marshall has not so much written a novel as she has drawn back the curtain on a South-facing window, a view of Mississippi fifty years ago, of forty and thirty years ago. . . . They are not so much characters as people we have known; their stories not so much witnessed as shared. The shifting points of view—female and male, black and white—never shift away from honesty ...