Mary Morony - Harsh Truths from the South, a Novel

November 23, 2016
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The Cream of the Crop, nobody does it better...Mary Morony wrote a trilogy based on the racism, bigotry, and prejudices of the 50s and 60s, and she nailed it in her latest novel, Done Growed Up

Smell what I'm cookin'...?

Although fiction, the trilogy is based on the hard truths of living in the South in the late 50s to early 60s and is filled with real soul searching stories to which we can all relate. For example, can Sallee, the twelve year old narrator of the story, trust the transition of her mom, Ginny, from the drunken abusive women she was to the now sober, kind, caring woman she seems to be? Even Ginny herself says, “The Ginny you know is the one I don’t recognize.” What about the oath Ginny makes to never drink another drop of alcohol if Sallee gets well? Does that mean that if she does drink, Sallee will get sick again? And Sallee isn’t even sure she wants her mom to stop drinking, for at least she knew how to handle the mean and drunk mom. “Maybe I don’t want her to change because I don’t know what that looks or feels like; I might get hurt all over again in some new way, some way I can’t even imagine,” she thinks.
Joe and Ginny are divorced now, which further adds to the dysfunction of the family. After their oldest daughter, Stuart, goes off to college in New York, they receive the phone call that is every parent’s nightmare: “Your daughter is on academic probation and has not been seen for some time.” When Joe flies to New York to investigate, he finds his daughter in the middle of a heroin overdose and seeks out help from Dr. J.: Jacob Berke. We soon learn that Dr. J. was Joe’s father’s psychiatrist, for he, too, was also addicted to heroin! We could all use a few appointments with Dr. J., who says to Stuart, “We are run by our minds. We don’t have to be, but most of us have no concept of the power of our minds. If we do not control our minds, our minds will control us. My idea is that our emotions about things are based on memories. If we change our memories, we can change our emotions.”
In the middle of all this, Ginny finds out a terrible secret about her own family’s past. One that reveals the cause of the accident that killed her father and her love, who happens to be a colored boy...or is he?

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