Thursday, July 31, 2014

Five great books about small towns

For the Barnes & Noble Review, Jessica Ferri tagged five top books about American small towns, including:
The Optimist’s Daughter
by Eudora Welty

Perhaps in order to gain perspective on small-town life, one must escape, only to return after some distance. In Eudora Welty’s The Optimist’s Daughter, Laurel travels back home to New Orleans to see her father, Clint, a judge undergoing an operation on his detached retina. But when Clint unexpectedly dies, Laurel is left to organize a funeral and put up with her father’s second wife, the imbecilic Fay. The two women travel to Mississippi, where the Judge wanted to be buried and where Laurel grew up, bringing up memories of Laurel’s beloved mother, Becky. “‘Fay, my mother knew you’d get in her house. She never needed to be told. She predicted you,” Becky says. ” ‘Predict? You predict the weather,’ said Fay. You are the weather, thought Laurel. And the weather to come: there’ll be many a one more like you, in this life.” With her sharp wit and eccentric cast of characters, Welty captures the geyser of emotions that can occur when one returns to their childhood home.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue