I'll Be Home Late Tonight: A Novelby Susan Thames, Barbara de Wilde
Escaping a cheating husband and a mother so crazy she believes she can fly, June uproots her daughter, Lily, from her West Virginia home, only to fall prey to a world as dangerous and absurd as the one they left behind. Driving a jalopy, surviving on dwindling cash with nowhere and no one to turn to, Lily and June confront a South replete with racism, crude sexuality,… See more details below
Escaping a cheating husband and a mother so crazy she believes she can fly, June uproots her daughter, Lily, from her West Virginia home, only to fall prey to a world as dangerous and absurd as the one they left behind. Driving a jalopy, surviving on dwindling cash with nowhere and no one to turn to, Lily and June confront a South replete with racism, crude sexuality, and a dim view of women traveling alone together. Through Lily's poignant, precocious, and often comic observations, we begin to unravel the delicate tangling of mother-daughter emotions, of two hearts in unison headed ultimately for separate destinations.
Twelve-year-old Lily Wolsey's mother, June, doesn't like knowing that her traveling-salesman husband sleeps around on his business trips, but she's willing to look the other way until the day he chooses to move in with one of his other women. Stuck in her mother's house in Covington, Virginia, with no one but Lily for company, June decides to run away, taking her daughter with her. The trouble is, June has no plans, no skills, and nowhere to goso instead of moving to another town and starting life over, June and the confused Lily keep driving, roughly in circles, around the southern half of the US. Wherever the Wolseys go, trouble follows: A visit to a cousin ends abruptly when June and the cousin's husband are caught with clothes askew; a stay with an in-law in Florida ends when June, drunk as usual, is raped by their hostess's son. Meanwhile, as their finances decrease, June steals, lies, and prostitutes herself to pay for yet another motel room or repairs for the car. Lily, terrified of being left behind, shrugs off the years of school she's missing and learns to flirt with men for money just like her mom. Eventually the two take to buses and trains, sleeping in flophouses until a longer stay in a black-owned bar on the poor side of Memphis gives Lily the time to catch her breath, collect a few dollars, and leave her mother.
A tale of degradation and desperation, for those who like their coming-of-age stories extra noir.
- Random House Publishing Group
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.89(w) x 8.63(h) x 0.84(d)
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