|"The morning I died it rained. Poured down so hard it washed the blood off my face." |
Thus begins the story of Lori Jean, whose short life and death are woven into this poignant, heart-wrenching novel set in the rural South of the 1950s. Told from the point of view of ten-year-old Lori Jean, a sensitive dreamer of a child who longs for a "normal" family, Roseflower Creek is raw with the emotions of a child burdened by the harshness of her life. Abandoned by her father when she was five, her world is filled with a self-absorbed mother who can't seem to hold her life together and an abusive, alocoholic stepfather who can't-or won't-keep a steady job. Yet Lori Jean is filled with the curiosity and hope common to all children.
After Lori Jean's stepfather , Ray, begins attending AA meetings, he seems like a changed man, and Lori Jean begins to think that finally she and her mama are going to experience some long-overdue happiness-be a real family. But tragedy strikes anew, and Ray, unable to cope, returns to the bottle and his shiftless ways. Fired from his job at the cotton mill, he resorts to stealing, and when Lori Jean uncovers his secret, things begin to spiral out of control. Unable to keep silent, Lori Jean pays the ultimate price for what she knows.
Poignant and bittersweet, Roseflower Creek is a story of the loss of innocence. Told with an honesty and authenticity that only a child narrator could achieve, it is a remarkable first novel that will move readers with profound emotions and haunt them long after the last paragraph has been read.
"Finally, we was gonna be a family. Have ourselves some happy times to look back on. Git ourselves one of them futures-just like regular folks."