The Real Minerva by Mary Sharratt
A Novel

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Stunningly detailed, richly plotted, and emotionally engrossing, The Real Minerva is the story of three women forging their own paths in a Midwestern farming community. In 1923, as book-loving Penny enters adolescence, her mother, Barbara, pulls her out of school to send her to work. Destined to become a cleaning woman like her mother, Penny sees no escape from her bleak existence until a scandalous figure arrives in the town of Minerva, Minnesota: Cora, very pregnant, very headstrong, and very alone, has come to make a home on her grandfather's farm. Intrigued by this curious new resident, Penny sets out to work for Cora. Suspenseful and moving,The Real Minerva is a remarkable novel about the strength of women and the unexpected bonds that form between them.

Mary Sharratt is the author of the much-acclaimed debut, Summit Avenue, and the forthcoming novel The Vanishing Point. A born-and-bred Minnesotan, Sharratt drew on her mother's and grandmother's stories of Minnesota farm life in the early twentieth century for The Real Minerva. She now lives in Lancashire, England.

About Mary Sharratt

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MARY SHARRATT is an American writer who has lived in the Pendle region of Lancashire, England, for the past seven years. The author of the critically acclaimed novels Summit Avenue, The Real Minerva, and The Vanishing Point, Sharratt is also the coeditor of the subversive fiction anthology Bitch Lit, a celebration of female antiheroes, strong women who break all the rules.
Published January 13, 2006 by Mariner Books. 284 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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(Barbara has never told Penny that her grandfather is also her dad and tried to drown her at birth, so she doesn’t understand what her mother is up against.) When Barbara slaps Penny for criticizing her behavior, the girl runs away.

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