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From the PublisherSouthern Independent Booksellers Association Summer 2010 Pick
“Susan Gregg Gilmore’s second novel is brimming with charm.”
"Much like The Help, Bezellia’s story juxtaposes the societal restrictions on women of the 1960s with the civil-rights struggle of Nashville’s black community. Only Gilmore’s heroine becomes more embroiled in racism through an interracial romance with the son of the family’s handyman."
—Chattanooga Times Free Press
“Nobody knows how to weave a spell better than Susan Gregg Gilmore, as she draws us into the precarious childhood and complicated life of poor little rich girl Bezellia Grove, whose path winds through some of the South’s darkest woods—race, class, insanity—familiar ground for a Southern novel? Not so fast—surprises await. This novel is a pure enchantment.”
—Lee Smith, author of Mrs. Darcy and the Blue-Eyed Stranger and The Last Girls
“The Improper Life of Bezellia Grove is simply a wonderful book, a deeply felt story of caring so powerful it must be improper. Yet the telling is bold and tender and memorable, and we are given a character in Bezellia Grove that stands among the grandest of our recent literary figures. Remember also the name of Susan Gregg Gilmore, the gifted writer who made the words that make the magic. She is destined to be a star.”
—Terry Kay, author of To Dance with the White Dog and The Book of Marie
“I read The Improper Life of Bezellia Grove all in one sitting, swept up in Bezellia’s remarkable life and her moving quest to be loved the right way. Now I look forward to many more stories from the immensely talented Susan Gregg Gilmore, a powerful new voice in Southern literature.”
—Amy Greene, author of Bloodroot
“Susan Gregg Gilmore gives us a strong woman’s voice, singing back through time the honest ballad of a family in turmoil and a culture in the midst of upheaval. Gilmore is not afraid to show the two-steps-forward-one-step-back dance of change, to remind us how deeply rooted ideas can run, and how fragile courage can be and how necessary. An excellent novel.”
—Darnell Arnoult, author of Sufficient Grace
“Susan Gregg Gilmore’s smart, gripping, and ultimately hopeful tale of love and tough choices in the dark hours before the dawn of the New South rings true and fine. I fell in love with the voice of Bezellia Grove, her sharp wit covering her soft heart, and you will too.”
—Joshilyn Jackson, New York Times bestselling author of Backseat Saints
From the Hardcover edition.