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The Stones of Mourning Creek Kindle Edition

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This first novel, set in 1966 Spring Gap, Ala., pegs Les Becquets as a writer to watch. She orients readers in the deep South, where whites gamble on the outcome of bare-hand boxing between young black boys; the sheriff's buddy runs the town's gambling and drinking establishment; and the blossoming friendship between white narrator Francie and Ruthie, a black girl, labels Francie an outcast. Francie's mother relates the brief opening chapter, which hints at foul play: while the woman searches for Francie's alcoholic father one night, she hears the voice of a distressed child, shouts that the child should run, then loses consciousness (and her life). The rest of the novel is told from 14-year-0ld Francie's perspective, an intelligent, fair-minded viewpoint that will keep readers hooked. Francie first meets Ruthie after the heroine is bitten by a poisonous snake on the banks of Mourning Creek, and Ruthie alerts her mother, who provides a healing remedy. Gradually, Francie learns just how great an impact her mother had on the small community. If the various ties all leading back to the woman seem too carefully orchestrated, and some of the events and subplots melodramatic (an old flame of Francie's mother watches out for Francie; one villain is the source of all the town's evils), the lyricism of the narrative and the well-developed relationship between Francie and Ruthie carries the novel. Ages 12-up.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Gr 7-10-In the dramatic prologue to this novel set in 1960s rural Alabama, 14-year-old Francie Grove's mother is murdered while attempting to save a black girl from rape. Around this pivotal event, the story unfolds of a town in the grip of an evil and powerful man, Harvey Mansfield, and the complicity of the local law-enforcement establishment that allows racism and violence to go unpunished. In her loneliness following her mother's death and subject to her father's alcoholic neglect, Francie grows increasingly attached to the black Taylor family, particularly Ruthie, who becomes her best friend after saving her from a deadly snakebite. This friendship and her father's hatred of Mansfield, whom he suspects is his wife's killer, alienate the Groves from their white neighbors and make them the prey of brutal attacks. When Francie discovers that Mansfield is running a gambling den where fights are staged between young black men to satisfy the blood lust of hard-drinking white male observers, a chain of events is set off that leads to a shattering climax in which Ruthie is killed. Despite much foreshadowing with incidents of cruelty and violence, readers will not be prepared for this outcome. Francie's loss and grief are devastating, and signs of hope are not convincing. Many subplots, including the growing love between Francie and a boy who lives in relative isolation with his outcast mother, the realization that Ruthie is the girl Francie's mother saved, and Francie's father's abrupt decision to marry the high school librarian, result in melodrama and some jarring implausibilities and coincidences. Mildred Bargler Herschler's The Darkest Corner (Front Street, 2001) offers a more effective and compelling portrayal of this theme.

Marie Orlando, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 656 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Skyscape (October 16, 2012)
  • Publication Date: October 16, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008SGJO1E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #304,956 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 4, 2001
Format: Hardcover
As a librarian at a middle school I regularly read young adult fiction. This story is truly inspiring. The two main characters are struggling with a desire to be "best friends" during the 1960's when black people were excluded from many daily activities even though the laws said that they were to have the same rights as everyone else. The girls discover, that together, they hold key information to solve a murder mystery that has deeply affected both of them personally. This story gives you the feeling that true friendship is something you don't want to ever let go of. Strong language but important to the story. A great book for discussions and literature circles.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Teen Reads on July 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I've always liked mysteries but I'm not too fond of sappy "let's all have a good sob" novels. So when I read THE STONES OF MOURNING CREEK, I was puzzled. What was I to think of this emotional novel entwined with a mystery? It turns out the novel wasn't what I expected.

Francie is a quiet girl with brilliant red hair. Since her mother's death, Francie lives alone with her father and has few friends. It is the 1960s, when racism is rampant, but when Francie meets Ruthie, a young black girl, the two become almost inseparable. That is until the rest of Spring Gap begins to notice. As the town grows more conscious of the tight bond between the girls, people become more intent on splitting them up.

Meanwhile, new developments about the death of Francie's mom keep popping up. How did she die? Nobody is really sure about that night, and not many people want to find out. So Francie embarks on a journey --- with Ruthie, of course. The two become trapped as they try to untangle themselves from a web of lies. They find that nothing is safe and they can turn to no one in their quest for the truth.

In THE STONES OF MOURNING CREEK, Diane Les Becquets shows the reader what life in the '60s was really like. She also reveals aspects of the mother-daughter relationship. It is clear that when Francie's mother was alive, the two were almost inseparable --- much like Francie and Ruthie.

The mystery got the best of me, and I felt myself falling for the "lets all have a good sob" part, as much as I didn't want to. If you're fond of mysteries, and you don't mind sappy novels, then read THE STONES OF MOURNING CREEK. You just might like it.

--- Reviewed by Lisa Marx
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 30, 2003
Format: Hardcover
One of the best books I have ever read is The Stones of Mourning Creek. It is a fantastic tale of mystery and friendship. Let me tell you about it.
Fourteen year old Francie Grove lives in Spring Gap, Alabama in 1966. When her mama dies, she and her daddy are overcome by sorrow, but they deal with it in different ways. Mr. Grove goes out at night and drinks, while Francie becomes friends with a girl named Ruthie, and talks to her about her troubles.
Ruthie rescued Francie after being bit by a snake, and this incident was what brought them together. There is only one problem. Francie is white, and Ruthie is black. It isn't easy to stay friends in this segregated time, but nothing can separate them. Francie and Ruthie together go through a lot of the things girls today do, such as bullies at school, family troubles, and crushes on boys. The stones of the creek represent the relationship of these two girls, since Ruthie made bracelets of the rocks for each of them.
As time goes along, Francie suspects that Mama's death was no accident. Little does she know it, but Ruthie holds the secret to discovering what happened to Francie's mother.
This is an extremely emotional book. You will laugh and cry when you read it.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on December 19, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Hi there! I am an anvide reader! And I must say this is one of my favorite books. I read a lot of books, so u have 2 understand how good this book really has to be good. It shows true friendship, first love, and an acceptance of other races and life stlyes. This author definatly has something special going on! I hope she writes more books. Just a note: I have to promote this book, Seer and The Sword! It is wonderful!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amethyst on April 16, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I think this is a wonderful book for all ages. Diane Les Becquets is a great author. The Stones of Mourning Creek is about a white girl named Francie who becomes best friends with a black girl named Ruthie during the 1960's in the South. After Francie's mother dies...Francie became unhappy and really lonely since her father seemed to never be there for her. Francie's mother didn't really die in an accident, she stopped a man from raping a girl and so the man killed her. You quickly find out in a couple of pages who the evil man is and who he was going to rape. Francie became friends with Ruthie, after Ruthie saves her by getting help when she found her knocked out from a snakebite. Francie and Ruthie cherished their friendship and let nothing come between them. Francie falls for a boy named Earnest :O) Their town is full of secrets....people they know are not all they seem to be. Francie and Ruthie end up finding out the answers to the mystery of Francie's mother's so-called accident. The ending was........hmm......dunno what to really say about it but you just have to read this wonderful story for yourself to find out the ending...
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