Hope Mills by Constance Pierce

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Winner of Pushcart's Fifteenth Editors' Book Award, Hope Mills is a first novel that lovingly and accurately brings to life a Southern mill town at the end of an era.

It is 1959 in Hope Mills, North Carolina. Cotton is giving way to synthetic fiber; mill work is declining; race relations are volatile; the nearby military base is expanding; girls and women too often are trapped economically and socially; men are losing the assurance of secure work and dominion over their families. Through the eyes of Tollie and Lily, two high-school chums who are each other's salvation, Constance Pierce chronicles a time of enormous change and difficulty and ends on a note of endurance and triumph. Novelist Lee Smith comments: "An exceptionally engaging first novel. . . . Writing always with a clean lyricism, a fine sense of humor, and an infallible feel for time and place, Constance Pierce makes us care deeply about all the characters, rich and poor, old and young, crazy and sane, who inhabit this perfectly rendered mill town."

About Constance Pierce

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Constance Pierce is the author of a book of short fiction, When Things Get Back to Normal (Fiction Collective/Illinois State University Press) and Philippe at His Bath, a poetry collection (Adastra). She teaches at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
Published May 17, 1997 by Pushcart Press. 325 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Tollie's simple dreams of ``home-cooked food [and] an easy home life'' contrast with those of her best friend, Lily Jones, a sassy girl who hopes that by sleeping with a local d.j.

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Publishers Weekly

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besides, she muses, ""the place she wanted to go probably wasn't even on the map."" Rather than turn the story into a pity party for Tollie, Pierce shows us how this vulnerable yet resourceful young woman gradually comes to grips with her lot, capturing both her wistfulness and her courage in dec...

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