The debut novel from Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori
Parks is a gutsy, funny, tragic and completely original work for
fans of William Faulkner and Alice Walker.In the 1950s, in a small
southern town in the US, the Beedes are the lowest of the low.
Always struggling, they remain shackled by poverty and their own
lack of ambition. Everyone, but sixteen-year-old Billie Beede.Billy
Beede has big ideas about her life. She's had the Beede misfortune
to get pregnant by an itinerant coffin salesman. And when he proves
to have a wife and seven kids in another town, she determines to
try her luck elsewhere. The answer seems to be in the hem of her
mother's dress, her mother who died ten years ago. The rumour is
that Willa Mae - a Billie Holiday look-alike - was the only Beede
who made good, and was buried with a pearl necklace and a diamond
ring sewn into the hem of her dress.Billie - and all her relatives
- aim to get their hands on this treasure and make something of
themselves. What follows is a mad road trip that evokes shades of
Faulkner - in its potent earthiness - but also has the
approachability and warmth of novels like The Colour Purple. This
is a fantastic debut novel from an accomplished and well-loved
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