A Place Called Sweet Shrub

Overview


Together for the first time as a classic Texas trilogy:

The Train to Estelline

A Place Called Sweet Shrub

Dance a Little Longer

The Lucinda ?Lucy? Richards trilogy, spanning the years from 1911 to the 1930s, has everything good books should have: a variety of landscapes, characters of all ages and social classes, an overall tenderness that never lapses into sentimentality, ...

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A Place Called Sweet Shrub

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Overview


Together for the first time as a classic Texas trilogy:

The Train to Estelline

A Place Called Sweet Shrub

Dance a Little Longer

The Lucinda “Lucy” Richards trilogy, spanning the years from 1911 to the 1930s, has everything good books should have: a variety of landscapes, characters of all ages and social classes, an overall tenderness that never lapses into sentimentality, and a sense of the comic amidst the tragic. Lucy is feisty, funny, and completely open-armed about life. Josh passionately confronts danger and greed and prejudice with courage and humor and, sometimes, with bare fists. Even the minor characters are so rife with color that you first turn the pages quickly to see what they will do next and, then, you turn them slowly so as to savor each page of this remarkable trilogy.

In 1915 it has been three years since Lucy Richards left her teaching post in West Texas and returned home where she is busy being indispensable to her eccentric mother, keeping her Aunt Catherine comfortable, and taking on many of the chores her very pregnant sister no longer feels up to. She decides to choose a husband from the local beaus, but none of them stand a chance when handsome, irreverent Josh Arnold comes to town. The newlyweds move to the sleepy hamlet of Sweet Shrub, Arkansas, where they are soon caught up in the lives of their neighbors and discover that the surface tranquility of the town hides simmering tensions and unrest that will inevitably result in tragedy.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This second entry in Wood's proposed trilogy of young love in Texas at the start of World War I is generally engaging but not totally successful. Lucy Richards (first met in The Train to Estelline ) has returned home from a year of teaching. Trying to save the family hardware store and tend a tubercular aunt, Lucy contemplates the fate of old maids and maintains an inventory of available local suitors. There is no need for her concern, however, as Josh Arnold finds her after a three-year absence and sweeps away all objections. The newlyweds travel to Sweet Shrub, Ark., where Josh has a position as a school principal. Becoming acquainted with the various residents of their boarding house, they discover an incipient vein of bigotry against the black population, which is beginning to seek fairer wages and civil rights. Another concern is the fate of a foundling raised by a black woman, whose identity becomes confused as adolescent growth suggests that he may actually be white. Lucy is at her most appealing when she is still living with her family in Texas, and the reader is privy to her changing views of life and marriage. After she weds, there is more focus on Josh's qualities and more straight narrative. Wood's treatment of racial tensions is uneven, with some episodes striking a chord and others failing to generate much feeling. In general, however, this wholesome novel makes for easy, pleasant reading. (Nov.)
Library Journal
Written in 1993, 1990, and 1987, respectively, these novels are known as the Lucy Richards trilogy in honor of their central character. Spanning the years from 1911 to 1931, the story follows Lucy's life as a young school teacher in west Texas through marriage, childbirth, and the Great Depression. Through all the hardships, her indomitable spirit wins out. Good stories with a strong woman in the lead. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781574410792
  • Publisher: University of North Texas Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2000
  • Series: Lucinda Richards Trilogy Series
  • Edition description: Third Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 286
  • Sales rank: 1,174,119
  • Product dimensions: 5.58 (w) x 8.51 (h) x 0.74 (d)

Meet the Author


Jane Roberts Wood received the Texas Institute of Letters award in 1998 for the Best Short Story, received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities to study at Yale, as well as a NEA Fellowship. A member of TIL and PEN, she lives with her husband, Dub, in Dallas, Texas.
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