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
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Published May 29, 2011
by Falcon Creek Publishing Co..
Literature & Fiction.