Synopses & Reviews
"A profound picture of the legacies of families, one that will stay in the reader's mind."
--The Memphis Commercial Appeal
Virginia Suzanne Ballard is going home to Saxapaw, North Carolina, to sort things out--and to have the people she loves best help her through a difficult pregnancy.
The reunion is bittersweet. For as three generations of marvelous women tend to Virginia, long-held secrets are revealed, half-hidden truths confessed, and precious wisdom gained--of letting go and moving on. . . .
"Celebrates human connection, not the sort of passionate and exotic connection that all these women imagine, fear and desire, so much as the steady comfort of the familiar, the known, the reliable, which is perhaps synonymous with family."
--Atlanta Journal & Constitution
"Novel writing by resident or expatriate North Carolinians seems as flourishing a cottage industry as quilting. As busy and as talented as anyone working that territory these days is 29-year-old Jill McCorkle. Thee years ago her publisher brought out her first and second novels simultaneously, not only to offer current value but to illustrate growth potential. He made a resounding point that once again reverberates. The first, The Cheer Leader, is good, the second, July 7th, is spookily good, nothing short of terrific. In this latter seriocomic dissection of a North Carolina town, McCorkle lets us share a warm detachment from her large cast of characters, all of whom come across as memorable and most as endearing. In her third novel she pulls us much closer to her townspeople. The effect is every bit as dazzling but more disturbing. Ginny Sue awaits the birth of her first child. Her condition draws together her mother, grandmother, cousin, aunt, great aunt—and provides the title. McCorkle gets under the skin of each with uncanny precision. A storm one afternoon confines them all to the same room. Stories are told, including that of a dead great aunt, secrets revealed, existing antagonisms and delusions exacerbated. The volatile reaction is brilliant, sometimes funny, often harrowing. Life being lived rises palpably from these pages. Using mostly dialogue (without too much adaptation, this novel could make a powerful play), McCorkle digs ever deeper into the psyches of these ordinary women whose lives have ranged from constructive to blighted. Under her searching eye and in their own unerringly heard and faithfully rendered speech, they become extraordinary, fascinating, and, one predicts, unforgettable." Reviewed by Daniel Weiss, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)