Synopses & Reviews
Seventeen years after leaving home "for good," self-sufficient single mother Janisse Ray leaves her comfortable life in Montana to revisit her cracker origins. Craving a life built on "land, history, and blood," she moves into the family's rundown 1920s farmhouse in Baxley, Georgia. There she rediscovers the nearly lost pleasures of country life a Thanksgiving syrup boil, alligator trapping, and neighbors as well as family skirmishes. Wild Card Quilt is the story of her return and the adventures that follow as she ponders whether she will stay in Baxley "and die where seven generations of grandmothers had died" before her.
"[A] lively account....A naturalist and activist, Ray writes eloquently about the region's forests and waterways....Though she doesn't delve into her relationship with her son and barely addresses the issue of race and contact with local black people, Ray celebrates the richness of the natural world and the comforts of family." Publishers Weekly
"Evocative observations about her return to the southern family farm in an attempt to gather fragments and make her life whole....With a fine quilter's hand, Ray weaves new stories (of music festivals, riverkeepers, referendums, her son moving north, her whole unusual family) into the rapidly diminishing store of old ones." Kirkus Reviews
"[N]eatly fashioned and wonderfully anecdotal linked essays....Not only is her book quiltlike, her entire endeavor is also a form of quilt making as she rescues discarded ways of life, seeks to create wholeness out of fragments, and concocts vibrant patterns of living that combine tradition and innovation and make way for beauty." Donna Seaman, Booklist
By the author of "Ecology of a Cracker Childhood" comes the story of a woman's return to her childhood home in Baxley, Georgia. 20 illustrations.