Depression-era Louisiana provides the setting for the story of John Washington, a man whose family has successfully passed for white since Reconstruction. A salesman, he is happiest on the road. The death of his wife leaves him with two small daughters for whom he makes little accommodation except to leave them with his mother. Marriage to a young, self-indulgent woman brings with it her large and unruly family to provide support for the girls that their stepmother won't. But still his happiest days are spent traveling, and he is at peace only with Odessa, his black mistress and the only person who knows his secret. Ultimately, his successful life exacts a price from all involved. Kemper's first novel is filled with vivid descriptions and populated with wonderfully drawn characters, each telling part of the story in a distinct and clear voice. Reality is tempered with portentous dreams that add just a hint of bayou magic, which helps confirm this novel's place in the colorful southern tradition. Danise HooverCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Praise for Marjorie Kemper and UNTIL THAT GOOD DAY
"Until That Good Day gave me great pleasure. It was a story and a voice that I looked forward to six nights running. Marjorie Kemper writes such lively and witty prose that delight invites you in -- and then you are caught up by a story that runs deeper and more powerfully with every chapter. Marjorie Kemper has a sense of history, a sense of humor and a sense of life."
--John Casey, author of Spartina
"Marjorie Kemper's first book has more points of view than a prism, an agreeable old Williams/Capote/McCullers lilt to it, and an unassuming, strong declarative power that gives the reader a very good feeling. Magnolias and miscegenation -- it's a bit of a romp."
--Padgett Powell, author of Edisto
"[Kemper] dispatches good people and beloved animals alike without undue schmaltz, and her observations can be as vinegary as Carolina barbecue. She can sum up characters with one beautifully offhand sentence . . . . can plot, her characters are a delight, and her prose is as simple and plain as good homemade biscuits. And as any Southern cook can tell you, good biscuits aren't that easy to make."
"Kemper's first novel is filled with vivid descriptions and populated with wonderfully drawn characters, each telling part of the story in a distinct and clear voice. Reality is tempered with portentous dreams that add just a hint of bayou magic, which helps confirm this novel's place in the colorful southern tradition."
"An intriguing period piece that enables the audience to visualize life in the Lower Mississippi during the Depression. Marjorie Kemper provides a deep character study that shines on a way of life that feels almost ancient though it is only decades ago."
--Midwest Book Review
"The narrative voice, confident yet relaxed, is that of a good friend who dropped by to talk and sip iced tea."
--New Orleans Time-Picayune
"[E]very color and definitely flavorful. Kemper can write! Her metaphors are so fresh I found myself stepping from the story to admire them . . . [A] stunning piece of work and a sure-fire Oprah pick"
--The Raleigh News & Observer
"Interesting, well-drawn characters."
--Forbes Book Club