Sunday, February 11, 2024

Seven top Texas novels about mother-daughter relationships

Chris Cander is the USA Today bestselling author of A Gracious Neighbor, The Weight of a Piano, which was named an Indie Next Great Read in both hardcover and paperback and which the New York Times called, “immense, intense and imaginative,” Whisper Hollow, also named an Indie Next Great Read, and 11 Stories, named by Kirkus as one of the best books of 2013 and winner of the Independent Publisher Book Awards for fiction. She also wrote the children’s picture book The Word Burglar, and the Audible Originals “Eddies” and “Grieving Conversations.” Cander’s fiction has been published in twelve languages. She lives in her native Houston with her husband and two children.

Cander's new novel is The Young of Other Animals.

[My Book, The Movie: The Weight of a PianoThe Page 69 Test: The Young of Other AnimalsMy Book, The Movie: The Young of Other AnimalsQ&A with Chris Cander]

At Electric Lit Cander tagged "seven books about mothers and daughters in Texas that illuminate how we’re more likely to be one person’s shot of whiskey than everybody’s cup of tea." One title on the list:
Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen by Sarah Bird

Set against the backdrop of the American Civil War, this historical fiction is absolutely spellbinding. It tells the fictionalized story of the real Cathy Williams, a former slave and the only woman to ever serve with the legendary Buffalo Soldiers. Though she was born into servitude in America, her maternal grandmother had been an African warrior queen, and, in her words, “my mama never let me forget it.” When Cathy is taken from her plantation—and her mother—by Philip Sheridan of the Union Army and recruited to work as a cook’s assistant, she recalls what her mother told her: that she was never a slave but a captive whose warrior blood destined her escape from the enemy. To survive, Cathy poses as a man, becoming an outspoken, hardworking, unbreakable soldier posted at Fort Davis in West Texas. Although Cathy and her mother are separated for most of the book, I was compelled by the strength Cathy draws from her maternal heritage and her unwavering determination to someday be reunited with her mother.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue