Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Cotton Queen

I picked up a bunch of books last June from the library’s used book sale and I really haven’t put a dent in them.  I have a true book problem.  I also had a real reading slump last school year so I have a huge pile up of books that I need to get into before I bring anymore into my house.  Though, I have done a fairly decent job trying to get rid of books this summer.  It’s just hard for me to part with books, even if I don’t think I’ll read them again.  I think I have an attachment issue with books.  Anyway, The Cotton Queen by Pamela Morsi has been sitting on my shelf for a year and I figured this would be a great book to take camping with me.

Description:  The road away from home always seems to lead back to our mothers.

I am not, nor will I ever be, the kind of woman who wears pearls with her apron while cooking meat loaf for her husband. But when I was a kid, my mother, Babs, prepared me to be the next June Cleaver -- teaching me lessons that belonged to another era. Another world, practically. My mother's world. I couldn't wait to leave home and get away from her. But now, well . . . let's just say life hasn't turned out quite as I'd planned. And heaven help me, I'm going home.

Laney Hoffman -- Cotton Queen, 1975

It's funny -- all I ever wanted was to teach my daughter, Laney, how to be a lady so she could find a good husband and take her rightful place in our community. But Laney has always remained convinced that my life and my ideas are, well, pathetic. She has no idea -- no idea! -- what it is to lose a husband, to watch your dreams wither while keeping a smile on your face for the neighbors. Now, that is a talent. Laney is probably too smart for her own good, but being smart hasn't kept her out of trouble. Thank heavens I'm here to help pick up the pieces.

Babs Hoffman -- Cotton Queen First Runner-Up, 1956

I loved this book! It was a great look into the changing roles and views of women in the last 50 years.  It covers women gaining leverage in the work place, fighting for equal footing and the relationship with mothers over the years.


Both of the women who the book flipped between had positives and negatives.  I had moments when I wanted to shake them both.  They had issues but they sometimes made poor choices.  Don’t we all. 


It touched on some heavy topics that pushed it above the general chick lit category for me.  One of the characters is a solider in Vietnam and is completely changed by this experience.  In turn, this changes his relationship with his entire family when his brother has a different viewpoint.  It forces a divide that takes many years to fix. 


It also has a heavy focus on rape and how it can affect the victim’s life forever.  How it changes viewpoint, relationships, mental health and personality.


So avoid if that is a topic that is a trigger.  Otherwise, I’d recommend it for a quick weekend/beach read.

What's the last book you read that switched viewpoints? What books have you read about families recently?

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