“A wonderful tragicomedy” of a Mississippi family, a vast inheritance, and an impulsive heir, by the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Delta Wedding (The New York Times).
Daniel Ponder is the amiable heir to the wealthiest family in Clay County, Mississippi. To friends and strangers, he’s also the most generous, having given away heirlooms, a watch, and so far, at least one family business. His niece, Edna Earle, has a solution to save the Ponder fortune from Daniel’s mortifying philanthropy: As much as she loves Daniel, she’s decided to have him institutionalized.
Foolproof as the plan may seem, it comes with a kink—one that sets in motion a runaway scheme of mistaken identity, a hapless local widow, a reckless wedding, a dim-witted teenage bride, and a twist of dumb luck that lands this once-respectable Southern family in court to brave an embarrassing trial for murder. It’s become the talk of Clay County. And the loose-tongued Edna Earle will tell you all about it.
“The most revered figure in contemporary American letters,” said the New York Times of Eudora Welty, which also hailed The Ponder Heart—a winner of the William Dean Howells Medal which was adapted into both a Broadway play and a PBS Masterpiece series—as “Miss Welty at her comic, compassionate best.”