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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
If the film Daughters of the Dust was an introduction to the remarkable Peazant family, the novel of the same title sits you down at their dinner table. With sharp detail, Julie Dash turns her cinematic eye to literature. Using the same veritas that made the film a success, the book returns to the Sea Islands off the South Carolina coast and opens as Amelia Peazant travels south from New York to her mother's childhood home. This is no ordinary trip — Amelia plans to collect family stories for her anthropology thesis. But the story gains momentum as Amelia transforms herself from a bystander to a woman with lore of her own.
Amelia's citified facade thankfully falters as her presumptions about her "backwoods" relatives prove mistaken. In the course of listening to the oral traditions that compose her clan's history, Amelia realizes for the first time in her life that she is home. She turns inward, examines her motives for the study, and remembers the value of family. Watching Amelia's progress is her cousin Elizabeth, who is considering leaving home as Amelia returns to it. The book ends on a lucidly decisive and pleasing note for both women, adding new texture to the phrase "you can never go home again." Julie Dash has created a stunning celebration of family and heritage.