Her Own Place

Overview

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.

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Overview

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.

The award-winning author of Clover (optioned by Walt Disney Pictures) presents another fascinating story about everyday life as lived by everyday people, black and white. Sanders tells about people who take part in a momentous transformation involving attitudes, opportunities, ways of heart and mind--in the South, in the nation.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
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. (May)
Library Journal
Sanders follows her award-winning first novel, Clover ( LJ 3/1/90), with a novel about the life and times of Mae Lee Barnes. The story begins when Mae Lee is in high school during World War II and ends when she is in her sixties. During each phase of her life, Mae Lee faces down new challenges with courage and determination. Early on, when she is abandoned by her husband, Mae Lee struggles to raise her five children while running a farm. In her later years, she struggles fo find fulfillment after her children are grown. The pathos is well balanced with humor: Mae Lee's everyday trials include her parents' deaths, the realization that her memory is slipping, and the shock of seeing her grandson wearing an earring. The novel also chronicles the transformation of rural South Carolina through racial integration. Sanders subtly shows Mae Lee's life to be richer than that of the wealthy white woman she so admired during her early years. A salute to the extraordinary in ordinary lives and a delightful reading experience.-- Joanne Snapp, Virginia Commonwealth Univ., Richmond
Brad Hooper
From the warm, delightful "Clover", her first novel, Sanders takes a great leap forward in good and truthful storytelling, and she lands square on her feet. Much extended in scope compared to its predecessor, "Her Own Place" tells a whole life, that of Mae Lee Barnes, who, like author Sanders herself, is a farmer's daughter who musters true grit to keep body and soul, life and home, together. As the novel opens, Mae Lee, now in old age, is recollecting the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, when Mae Lee was just sixteen. As the story of her past unfolds, we see a young woman of fortitude marry a soldier, work in a munitions plant while he's away, and buy farmland of her own in his absence. Eventually her husband returns from overseas, but theirs is not to be a happy marriage: several children later, her spouse cuts out, and Mae Lee faces a life that for all appearances looks as if it will be awfully difficult. As the adage says about making lemonade when handed lemons, Mae Lee provides her children and herself with lives of substance they can be proud of. Fully and lovingly realized characters mark this quiet yet glowing novel that has the taste of the salt of the earth.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816157549
  • Publisher: Cengage Gale
  • Publication date: 7/1/1993
  • Series: Large Print Bks.
  • Pages: 249
  • Product dimensions: 6.41 (w) x 9.59 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Meet the Author

Dori Sanders was born in York County, South Carolina. Her father's farm, where her family still raises Georgia Belle and Elberta peaches, is one of the oldest black-owned farms in York County. Her father was a school principal and an author. She attended York County public schools and later studied at community colleges in Prince George's and Montgomery counties in Maryland. She does most of her writing during the winter months, in Maryland, where she is an associate banquet manager of a hotel near Andrews Air Force Base. In the growing season she farms the family land, cultivating peaches, watermelons, and vegetables, and helps staff Sanders' Peach Shed, her family's open-air produce stand. Clover is her first novel.
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