Our family of origin is mere happenstance yet powerfully directs the fate of two longtime friends of different race, age and station, in the segregated South.
Accidents of Birth – A Novel in Two Parts
Accidents of Birth – a Novel in two Parts, is a profound love story. Not man to woman or parent to child or that between siblings or friends, but the love that emerges when a quirky, illiterate black housekeeper in central Mississippi accepts the deathbed behest of her mother. “Imogene,” she said, “It be you work now to love the world.” From such a commitment, in a racially charged, politically divisive 20th century, an unforgettable story unfolds.
In Accidents of Birth Book One, ten-year-old Miss Imogene goes to work with her mother, a housekeeper for the Sutton family, to learn the only job that will be open to her in the 1940s in Mississippi. She takes over the position at age 19, startled at how much move involved it is than it appeared when her mother was in charge. Following her mother’s invocation to live loving the world, Miss Imogene’s initial struggles and trials begin almost immediately as she allies herself with one of her charges, Katie Gayle Sutton, a child prodigy, in order that the child might survive her abusive parents and succeed as a dancer, the one escape route life offers her.
Aided by her earthy wisdom, her sense of humor, her loving husband, her cart horse, Polly, and her conversations with God Almighty as if He were the guy next door, Miss Imogene persists in her efforts only to find her own family becoming a target of a century’s old racism erupting once again in Mississippi.
Accidents of Birth-Book Two spans the rest of the 20th century. For Miss Imogene, it is an intense and difficult time. She must deal not only with her own loss but also the return from New York of Miss Katie no longer a girl, but now a damaged woman. The challenges of the earlier years are maturing from threat to peril. Miss Imogene sees her own world fill with the pain and suffering of not just her people but also those associated with the Sutton family as she is called on to take up the fight for yet another Sutton child. Standing in the face of unnerving change, she seeks from her mama’s teachings an understanding sufficient to withstand the racial and social consequences of the decisions she faces.
A story that will remain with you perhaps always.
Accidents of Birth - A Novel in Two Parts
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In Kindle and Paperback