This past week, SF and I got to have dinner with our buddy Irene Latham after her signing at Square Books, Jr.
I'm telling you what, it's always a pleasure to have our writer friends come through Oxford but to get to eat with them and spend time talking about writing is just the\ cherry on top! Thanks Irene for delaying your drive a couple of hours to visit with us.
Although we haven't read it, we have been counting the days until we could get our hands on Irene's new MG historical fiction, LEAVING GEE'S BEND.
"Mama always said every quilt tells a story. Every piece of cloth, every stitch and every bit of cotton
stuffed between the seams tells a secret about the one who made the quilt."
- Ludelphia Bennett
Ludelphia Bennett may be blind in one eye, but that doesn't mean she can't put in a good stitch. In fact, Ludelphia sews all the time, especially when things are going wrong. But when Mama gets deathly ill, it doesn't seem like even quilting will help. Mama needs medicine badly - medicine that can only be found in Camden, over forty miles away. That's when Ludelphia decides to do something drastic - leave Gee's Bend.
Beyond the log cabins, orange dirt, and cotton fields of her small sharecropping community, Ludelphia discovers a world she could never have imagined. Fancy houses, cars, and even soda pop! But there's also danger lurking for a young girl on her own, and Ludelphia begins to wonder if she'll ever see Gee's Bend or her Mama again. Despite the twists and turns, Ludelphia weathers each challenge in a way that would make her mama proud, and may even save the day not just for Mama, but her entire town.
Set in 1932 and inspired by the rich quilting history of Gee's bend, Alabama, LEAVING GEE'S BEND is a heart-touching tale of a young girl's unexpected adventure.
This sounds like an amazing book, and it's gotten incredible reviews. We can't wait to read it! And, if you truly want to be inspired (and humbled), go check out Irene's wonderful blog. Scroll through and read some of the stories of her school, bookstore, and quilting group visits. Um, Irene? Do you ever get to, you know, sleep??
Thanks for being such an inspiration!
katie and sf