Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Book Tour and Review: The Queen of Palmyra by Minrose Gwin

The Queen of Palmyra by Minrose Gwin

Publisher: Harper Perennial  
Publish Date:  May 1, 201
 Trade Paperback, 392 pages

My Review:
I was thrilled to be asked to review The Queen of Palmyra by TLC Book Tours.  I had seen it around the Waiting on Wednesday meme and knew it sounded good.  I live in the south so I love the authors who write about the south.  Also this time frame is one I am somewhat unfamiliar with.  You know how history class in high school goes, you always cover the same time frame and never seem to make it past World War I, at least that was how it was in my high school.  So I have a gist of what went on in the 1960s, but not a full understanding.

The Queen of Palmyra gave me more of a feel of the 1960s in the deep south.  It was entertaining and thought-provoking at the same time.  The characters came alive for me through the words of young Florence.  I found each one interesting.  Ms. Gwin does a magnificent job with both characterization and with the descriptions and the plot too.

I don't read much of what I consider to be general fiction, but books like The Queen of Palmyra make me want to read more of it.  Real, yet entertaining, The Queen of Palmyra hooked me from the beginning to the very last word.

My Rating:  4.5/5.0

About The Queen of Palmyra

In the turbulent southern summer of 1963, Millwood’s white population steers clear of “Shake Rag,” the black section of town. Young Florence Forrest is one of the few who crosses the line. The daughter of a burial insurance salesman with dark secrets and the town’s “cake lady,” whose backcountry bootleg runs lead further and further away from a brutal marriage, Florence attaches herself to her grandparents’ longtime maid, Zenie Johnson. Named for Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra, Zenie treats the unwanted girl as just another chore, while telling her stories of the legendary queen’s courage and cunning.
The more time Florence spends in Shake Rag, the more she recognizes how completely race divides her town, and her story, far from ordinary, bears witness to the truth and brutality of her times—a truth brought to a shattering conclusion when Zenie’s vibrant college-student niece, Eva Greene, arrives that fateful Mississippi summer.
Minrose Gwin’s The Queen of Palmyra is an unforgettable evocation of a time and a place in America—a nuanced, gripping story of race and identity.

About Minrose Gwin

Minrose Gwin is the author of the memoir Wishing for Snow, cited by Booklist as “eloquent” and “lyrical”—”a real life story we all need to hear.” She has written three scholarly books and coedited The Literature of the American South. She teaches contemporary fiction at UNC–Chapel Hill and, like her young protagonist, grew up in a small Mississippi town.



Minrose Gwin will be on Blog Talk Radio with Book Club Girl on Monday, May 17th at 4pm EST.

Minrose’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS

Tuesday, May 4th: five borough book review
Wednesday, May 5th: The Bluestocking Society
Monday, May 10th: Rundpinne
Tuesday, May 11th: Natty Michelle
Wednesday, May 12th: Pam’s Perspective
Wednesday, May 12th: My Reading Room
Thursday, May 13th: The Book Lady’s Blog
Monday, May 17th: Crazy for Books
Wednesday, May 19th: Staircase Wit
Thursday, May 20th: Lit and Life
Tuesday, May 25th: Dolce Bellezza
Wednesday, May 26th: Take Me Away
Thursday, May 27th: Life and Times of a “New” New Yorker
Monday, May 31st: Green Jello


trish said...

Wow! Well, I'm stoked you liked the book! Thanks for being on the tour! :)

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