The Prodigal Daughter by Margaret F. Gibson
Reclaiming an Unfinished Childhood

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This gifted poet's memoir is the story of an inquisitive and sensitive young woman's coming of age and a deeply moving recounting of her reconciliation later in life with the family she left behind. Hers is the story of a mother proud to be a Lady, a Southerner, and a Christian; of two daughters trapped by their mother's power; and of their father's breakdown under social and family expectations. Slow to rebel, young Margaret finally flees the world of manners and custom--which she deems poor substitutes for right thought and right action in the face of the Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam War--and abandons her fundamentalist upbringing. After years of being the distant, absent daughter, she finds herself returning home to meet the needs of her stroke-crippled younger sister and her incapacitated parents.

About Margaret F. Gibson

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Margaret Gibson is the author of nine books of poetry, most recently Icon and Evidence, Autumn Grasses, and One Body. She is Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Connecticut and lives in Preston, Connecticut.
Published June 19, 2013 by University of Missouri. 215 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Parenting & Relationships.

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One day, finding herself sequestered in reflection under a lilac bush, watching her father mow the lawn, she realizes: “I could run away and not leave the backyard.” Eventually, however, she does get away physically, and spiritually, from her conventional family and its precepts.

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