A Family Gathering by Gene Cartwright

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews


Where Was God on May 15, 1974?
Pulitzer Nominated for Fiction 2007

A Young, Poor, Southern Girl Triumphs Over Abandonment and Tragedy

Ms. Cicely Tyson: "I have not been so moved by a novel since I first read Alex's book (Alex Haley,'s Roots).

In 1974, the life of a pregnant 12 year-old daughter of a black, rural, southern minister is changed forever, when it is learned the unacknowledged father is the 16 year-old son of Arkansas's wealthiest and most powerful white family. Retribution, attempted suicide, and triumph mark 15 years of her forced exile in Chicago. A blind eye is turned upon a vicious murder; a callous display of arrogance and power, until a day of reckoning spawned by 'A Family Gathering.'

After reading the hardcover edition, Emmy-Award-Winning actress, Cicely Tyson personally called the author and said: "I have not been so moved by a novel since Alex's book [Roots]".

Ms. Tyson went on to--in her words--"lay claim" to the role of Aunt Rose, in what will certainly be a film adaptation of this epic novel that reads like real life.


May 15, 1974 was the last day of her first life. - 
In 'The Sticks'--a poor area languishing in the backwater of rural Reedville, Arkansas--Deborah Yvonne Davis was a precocious, 12 year old, black schoolgirl...in love with life. Her laughter was infectious; her dreams were boundless. Second daughter of Reverend Henry Bertram Davis, and Mabel Davis, she lived with her siblings: three sisters and a brother, Matthew--her kindred spirit.

By all measure, Deborah was a child in a woman's body. It was her blessing, and her curse. Her looks earned the catty glares and snide remarks of girls and women alike. Her flawless, creamy-brown skin, well-defined curves and swaying walk, made her the envy of women far past their primes. What was worse, she was the object of lust for men decades beyond her twelve years.

By contrast, Deborah was the lighter-skinned of her sisters, especially Rachel, whose deep mocha-brown skin most resembled her mother's and brother's. While her skin color seemed of such focus for others, Deborah often found herself wishing she were several shades darker. For some unknown reason, she found herself reviled--even hated, by her younger sister. Practically from the cradle, Rachel harbored nothing but animus and venom for Deborah.

Still, loving memories of Gram d'lena, her paternal grandmother, guided Deborah. Her humble house, straddling Arkansas's Ouachita and Delta regions, was a hallowed place where loved ruled, and memories were born. It was Gram who, when Deborah was only days old, confronted longtime Sticks resident, and alleged voodoo practitioner, Florinda Batiste. The ninety year-old spinster moved to touch Deborah as she lay in her bassinet...

And this is is not even the beginning of this tightly-woven story many find it hard to see as fiction.

About Gene Cartwright

See more books from this Author
Gene Cartwright, a native of Texas, was born in Baytown, a small, Gulf Coast town 20 miles east of Houston. He often says it was his great fortune to be born at the right address the home of Elmer and Marie Cartwright his parents.Gene is the eldest son and second of eight children. He insists his love of writing and learning was sparked by his mother, who taught him to read when he was barely four. He was fascinatedcaptured by the freedom reading afforded. What was more, he read and was inspired to put his own words to paper.He has always enjoyed both technical and literary pursuits. He wrote his first novel at 12. (90 pages longhand.) Also, at age 12, he was working with a local electrician actually wiring new homes and retrofitting older homes.Gene graduated high school and headed immediately to college Prairie View A&M.). Four years later, and for almost 8 years thereafter, during what he now refers to as another life, Gene was an electrical engineer, designing lighting and power distribution systems.He next founded and owned a very successful consumer electronics company in Houston, Texas. A few years later, he saddled up and headed west. While he doesn't mind talking about working as an environmental engineer with the Air Quality Management District in California, he doesnt reveal much about his debut at the Improv as a guitarist and singer.Throughout his engineering pursuits and business activities, Gene continued to write and dream of being a published and a fulltime author. In 1996, that dream was realized.Gene has written 5 novels and several screenplays. For two years, his book tour for 'I Never Played Catch With My Father,' took him from coast to coast: He has appeared on numerous television and radio programs, including Oprah, NPR stations and countless tv morning shows, news and sports shows. He has been the subject of numerous newspaper and magazine articles. Gene was the featured author in Ebony Magazine in the November 97 issue.Finally, Gene's greatest childhood thrill was his very first little league baseball game. His greatest childhood fear was his very first little league baseball game. And his pet peeve? Something he labels sacrilegiousthe use of the aluminum baseball bats. Gene is currently on national tour.. When he taped an appearance on Oprah in 1997 to support his first novel, 'I Never Played Catch With My Father,' he announced that 'A Family Gathering,' would be his second novel. It is his third. His second is "Half Moon, Full Heart.
Published May 29, 2011 by Falcon Creek Publishing Co.. 500 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Rate this book!

Add Review