A big, beautifully written story of courage and friendship in the Deep South in the pre-Civil rights era. If you liked The Help, you'll love this. Set in 1950s Mississippi, this is the story of two young mothers, Hazel and Vida - one wealthy and white and the other poor and black - who have only two things in common: the devastating loss of their children, and a deep and abiding loathing for one another. Embittered and distrusting, Vida is harassed by Delphi's racist sheriff and haunted by the son she lost to the world. Hazel, too, has lost a son and can't keep a grip on her fractured life. After drunkenly crashing her car into a Christmas manger scene, Hazel is sedated and bedridden. Hazel's husband hires Vida to keep tabs on his unpredictable wife and to care for his sole surviving son. Forced to spend time together with no one else to rely on, the two women find they have more in common than they thought, and together they turn the town of Delphi on its head. This is the story of a town, a people and a culture on the verge of a great change that begins with small things . . . like an unexpected friendship. 'Miss Hazel and the Rosa Parks League is a substantial, thought-provoking must-read' June J. McInerney A note from the author: Growing up in Mississippi during Jim Crow and the Civil Rights Era, I, like most privileged white kids my age, was contentedly ignorant of the horrors my state and my people had deliberately inflicted on African Americans. It was only when I moved up North to Minnesota as an adult that I became aware of another version of history in which all Southern whites were vicious racists and all blacks were innocent victims who needed saving. Needless to say, neither version of the story was the whole truth, and I spent ten years returning to Mississippi interviewing African Americans who had lived at the same time as me, in the same state, but in a different world.
Miss Hazel and the Rosa Parks League
Random House Australia