Synopses & Reviews
Ludelphia Bennett may be blind in one eye, but she can still put in a good stitch. Ludelphia sews all the time, especially when things go wrong.
But when Mama goes into labor early and gets deathly ill, it seems like even quilting won?t help. That?s when Ludelphia decides to do something drastic?leave Gee?s Bend for the very first time. Mama needs medicine that can only be found miles away in Camden. But that doesn?t stop Ludelphia. She just puts one foot in front of the other.
What ensues is a wonderful, riveting and sometimes dangerous adventure. Ludelphia weathers each challenge in a way that would make her mother proud, and ends up saving the day for her entire town.
Set in 1932 and inspired by the rich quilting history of Gee?s Bend, Alabama, Leaving Gee?s Bend is a delightful, satisfying story of a young girl facing a brave new world.
"Debut author Latham offers an accessible piece of historical fiction, drawn from the real-life quilting traditions of Gee's Bend, Ala. Ludelphia Bennett a strong-willed 10-year-old living in the small sharecropping community in 1932 may be blind in one eye, the result of a wood-chopping accident, but she both adores and excels at quilting. 'Mama always said you should live a life the same way you piece a quilt,' she says. 'That you was the one in charge of where you put the pieces. You was the one to decide how your story turns out.' When her mother falls ill, Ludelphia takes off for Camden to find medical help, while trying to avoid Mrs. Cobb, the widow of the sharecroppers' boss, who has become unstable after the deaths of her husband and niece. Latham offers numerous heart-stirring moments, though while her story is heartfelt, several characters feel lacking in depth and complexity. Ludelphia is a determined heroine, but her internal monologue 'Mama, if this here needle can make it across the Alabama River, you can make it too' tends toward the treacly. Ages 10 up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Ludelphia Bennett reaffirms the human spirit and defines survival in this beautifully stitched quilt of a novel." - Richard Peck, author of A Season of Gifts
Set in 1932 and inspired by the rich quilting history of Gee's Bend, Alabama,"Leaving Gee's Bend" is a delightful, satisfying story of a young girl facinga brave new world who records her adventures in quilt pieces. 5 1/2 x8 1/4.
About the Author
Irene Latham lives in Birmingham, Alabama, with her husband and three children. This is her first novel.