A moving debut novel about female friendship, endurance, and hope in the South.
Roxanne Reeves defines her life by the committees she heads and the social status she cultivates. But she is keeping secrets that make her an outsider in her own town, always in search of acceptance. And when she is given a job none of the other white women want-researching the town's African-American history for a tour of local sites-she feels she can't say no.
Elderly Grace Clark, a retired black schoolteacher, reluctantly agrees to become Roxanne's guide. Grace takes Roxanne to Catfish Alley, whose undistinguished structures are nonetheless sacred places to the black community because of what happened there. As Roxanne listens to Grace's stories, and meets her friends, she begins to see differently. She is transported back to the past, especially to 1931, when a racist's hatred for Grace's brother leads to events that continue to change lives decades later. And as Roxanne gains an appreciation of the dreams, courage, and endurance of those she had so easily dismissed, her own life opens up in new and unexpected ways.
"Beautifully written and extremely poetic... full of tales of courage and endurance that may bring you to tears with their intensity, this is not a novel you'll soon forget."
-"RT Book Reviews," 4 and1/2 stars--TOP PICK
"A tender, wise, unique story of life, love, and southern women, crafted by a skilled writer who understands the struggle to find happiness and the healing power of friendship."
-Lisa Wingate, author of "Beyond Summer" and "Larkspur Cove"
"In the tradition of "The Help," Lynne Bryant's "Catfish Alley" tackles the racial divide of both 1920s and current-day Mississippi in a page- turning narrative that has, at its heart, the search for personal connections as the path to both survival and understanding."
-Lalita Tademy, author of "Cane River"
""Catfish Alley" is a bittersweet love song to the union of women, and a heartfelt meditation on the old and new wounds of a South that still must tiptoe, still doesn't always know how to mo