Mississippi Bluesby Cassandra Darden Bell
After her father's death eight years ago, Beverly Lamark had no desire to deal with her toxic siblings. As kids, they'd do anything for each other, but as adults they had nothing in common-though each had their own special gifts. Her jailbird brother Bobby got their daddy's good looks, Andrew got the brains, Mabel got pregnant, Grace got to be mother hen-and Beverly got the hell out of Mississippi. But despite her success as a bestselling author, her two lovely children and beautiful house, after seventeen years in an unsatisfying marriage, Beverly understood the old saying: Be careful what you wish for- you just might get it.
Left on her own most of the time by her workaholic husband, Beverly's days and lonely nights are usually spent writing-and drinking. And lately, the drinking is exceeding the writing. There's no end to her sad routine in sight - until she gets word that there's important family business to take care of. Soon an apprehensive Beverly is on her way back to Vicksburg, with her cranky teenagers in tow. But once she arrives at the local inn and runs into a handsome fan, Bev's mood brightens. Strangely enough, now that she's away from her man, she's starting to feel like a woman again.
Meanwhile, Beverly prepares for what is guaranteed to be a tense reunion with her brothers and sisters. But none of them can begin to imagine what's in store. For as the rivalries and misunderstandings of the family's past unravel, a shocking event will change the future for them all.
Uplifting, heartbreaking, and absorbing, Mississippi Blues is an unforgettable story of devastating loss and unexpected gain...
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- New Edition
- Product dimensions:
- 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.75(d)
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Mississippi Blues is a marvelously different book, a refreshing change from novels to me in that the main character Beverly Lamark acted as a regular person would act. I didn¿t get any pretenses or airs from her character, she was somebody that everybody could relate to. Her thoughts were ¿real¿ thoughts and her actions were ¿real¿ too. She did what we would do, not what we might no to be the right thing to do. We meet Beverly at a cross roads in her life. She is in the midst of a 17-year-old loveless marriage to a man whom she loves but his way of showing love excludes the one he loves. Work to support his family is his primary objective, but being a lawyer Michael fails to see that his absence from his family is driving them away. They are like polite strangers in the house. Beverly is a typical mom of two teenagers- running them to all of their events, she¿s become a taxi service and while her children are almost the central focus of her life she has found that filling the big void in her life is best done with a drink. Beverly Lamark can¿t even be herself-whoever that person is- in her own career as a writer. She¿s achieved great success under a pseudonym because she refuses to face and deal with her own demons. Demons that started presenting themselves most especially eight years ago when she left her family for the last time back in Vicksburg, Mississippi after the passing of her father. She decided at that time that dealing with her two sisters and two brothers was a bit much. Once so close to them that nothing separated them but as the years progressed, each of their problems further drove Beverly from them. The way they thought about her and her thoughts about them severed the bonds of blood it would seem. As we delve deeper by reading this captivating novel, we find that Beverly has been called home to tend to unfinished family business, the disposition of the family land that her father worked so hard to buy and keep. This land is the very source of the rift between her and her siblings. Beverly takes her two children Lisa and Junior home with her, after an eight-year absence, to mend fences and provide some continuity to family ties. As they journey from Massachusetts to Mississippi tragedy strikes once. Upon arriving with family, tragedy strikes again and the family suffers immeasurable loss but though this loss- gain comes as well. Beverly isn¿t a made up character who always does the ¿right thing¿ (because after all this is a book) she¿s amazingly human. Her reactions to situations might not be the best but I had the distinct feeling that her reactions would many times have been my reaction if dealt with similar situations. I was captivated with her down to earth, real feeling and the range of emotion this book evokes. From a writing perspective, the character development of each of the siblings is superb, while reading Mississippi Blues the reader is invited to sit down and become part of this family. Keeping it real, there isn¿t a character in this book that you can¿t find to relate to on a number of different levels. Cassandra Darden Bell has done a great job of taking a composite family and exposing the various layers in a completely charismatic way.
I had the pleasure of reading this book over the weekend and it was truly a page turner. I felt like I was Bev. I can so relate to the family, marriage and career issues. The old saying is true you can't pick your family members, you can only deal with them honestly. Ms. Bell weaves a story that makes you feel eveyone's joys and pains. You also see how the whole family reacts to the deep pain that jolts you to sit up while reading the book. I believe Ms Bell is a breath of fresh air on the African American reading scene.