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Roxanna Slade (1998)
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Wikipedia in English
Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0684853736, Paperback)It is this book's particular genius to compress our century and all of its extraordinary upheavals into the life of one decidedly ordinary Southern woman born in 1900. Told in Roxanna Slade's own inimitable voice, she begins her story abruptly at the age of 20, with an episode that's both an aberration from the life that follows and her life's single most significant event. In the course of a single afternoon, Roxanna meets a shockingly handsome young man and falls in love, only to have him drown in front of her very eyes. She goes on to marry his older brother, bear several children, discover her husband's long-term affair, fall into a deep depression, watch her parents succumb to old age and stroke--in short, to live a long, full life of the sort she sees as belonging to "normal white people." It's fashionable these days for novels to put their heroines through the dysfunction wringer--bulimia! cancer! incestuous rape!--in the hopes that their lives will somehow illuminate universal truths. The achievement of Roxanna Slade is that it both aspires to less and achieves more. Roxanna is no saint, she insists in the novel's opening pages. She faces her own minor-key crises with quiet aplomb, bolstered by her plainspoken and unsentimental view of the world. "Life, in the world I occupy, is an adequate blessing," she says, and the reader will surely agree.
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:20:16 -0400)
An old woman born in 1900 reflects on the joys and sorrows of her long life, commenting on them with wisdom. She is Roxanna Slade, matriarch of a rural family, and her story gives a portrait of the South before the great changes.
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