Dori Sanders' first novel, CLOVER was a smash hit. Now, with HER OWN PLACE, Dori Sanders tells a story about ordinary people taking part in a transformation of heart and mind--in the South, in the nation. "Resonates as powerfully as an old hymn."--Kirkus Reviews; "Like a ripe summer peach, HER OWN PLACE just keeps getting better and better until the last page leaves the reader longing for more."--Christian Science Monitor. A LITERARY GUILD SELECTION.
Told in simple prose with a country lilt, this novel by the author of Clover works a homespun charm that grows steadily more powerful. We meet black teenager Mae Lee Barnes in rural South Carolina, where she is hoping her high school sweetheart will propose before he goes off to fight in WW II. They marry; while he serves in the Army, she works in a munitions plant, saves every cent and, with a little help from her parents, buys a farm from a white family. Her handsome but feckless husband gives her five children, then abandons them, but Mae Lee never buckles. Sanders recounts the events in Mae Lee's development fluidly, almost as if she were telling her story aloud. As Mae Lee matures, her humor as well as dignity become ever more accessible, even when her memory and strength begin to ebb. A handful of touching sections capture the pain of petty racism, as when Mae Lee, the only black volunteer at the hospital, attends a dinner party hosted by a colleague and spies a ``kerchief-clad, red-lipped black mammy doll'' in the kitchen cupboard. With this warm and winning novel, Sanders demonstrates growing mastery of the craft. LG selection; author tour.