After Morgan Bigley’s wife Emily dies leaving him with two daughters in the 1940s, the society ladies swoop in like vultures. This is the old South of traditions and manners, so Mr. Bigley brings a widow into the house to guide his daughters in matters of how to behave, but when the widow’s lessons include prejudices resistance ensues. Told with deep love and appreciation for Southern life, this story brings the grandeur and the divisions of the south to life through the eyes of Morgan Bigley and his youngest daughter Agnes. Just as the nation comes of age in the face of World War II prejudices and hatreds, so the family struggles to let go of wife and mother Emily to embrace their future and their maturing views on life and love. Change comes hard to the family. Agnes was my favorite character. She comes of age during this tragedy in her life. The sisterly squabbles between older sister Josy and Agnes rang true.
The narrative voice of the story rings of authenticity and grace through the deft prose of author Martha Sibley George. This story generated unanimous approval and good discussions in my book club!