Wednesday, April 16, 2008

On Account of Conspicuous Women-Dawn Shamp

On Account of Conspicuous WomenDawn Shamp
Dunne, Apr 2008, $23.95
ISBN: 9780312379971

In 1920 following her beloved dropping dead, Widow Ina Fitzhugh moves from Virginia to teach school in Roxboro in Person County, North Carolina. Three natives worry that the out of towner will disparage their community. Guerine Loftis, Doodle Shuford and Bertie Daye hope to sell Ina on the merits of living in Roxboro.

During her first year in town, Ina often thinks about how much she left behind to live in this backwater town. Still she makes tentative friends with the three women. However each has their own goals that they pursue, which has the four females still somewhat friendly but drifting apart.

This tale starts off a bit slow as the audience meets the four females, but picks up some speed once the fearsome foursome get together. The story line is a historical period piece that provides a deep look at a by gone era in the rural south when sophisticates from Virginia were considered foreigners and suffragettes like Bertie at a minimum eccentric. Readers who enjoy a leisurely character driven tale will appreciate this engaging glimpse at four women in the post WWI North Carolina summed up by the opening quote: “Well-behaved women seldom make history” by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich.

Harriet Klausner

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