Like America in the mid-nineteenth century, Emma Garnet Tate Lowell is at war with herself. Born to privilege on a grand plantation she grows increasingly
aware that her family's prosperity is inextricably linked to slavery.
As she looks back on her troubled childhood, her hostile relationship with her bumptious self-made father Samuel P. Tate, her attempt to, create the ideal happy home through marriage, and the war that destroyed the rhythm of all their days, so she begins the long journey towards her own reconstruction.
"Despite the comings and goings of literary fashion, not much of real importance has changed since Horace said that our stories should aim to instruct and delight. Beginning with ELLEN FOSTER, Kaye Gibbons has achieved both on every page. And she does it again here, strikingly, in a novel about the bright habits of mind required for survival and the high price paid for living on." CHARLES FRAZIER author of Cold Mountain
"If there is a writer worthy to be nominated the literary heir of Eudora Welty, Gibbons is that writer." IRISH TIMES