Our monthly book discussion group will resume on September 2nd. We will be discussing "on Agate Hill," by Lee Smith. I look forward to meeting returning members of the group, and I welcome new members. Please contact West University Library if you would like to reserve a copy of the book.
"Former beauty queen Tuscany Miller gave up her dissertation on "Beauty Shop Culture in the South: Big Hair and Community" to get married. When her disastrous marriage ends, Tuscany discovers a young girl's diary in the attic of her father's bed-and-breakfast, a rundown postbellum plantation called Agate Hill. Tuscany's letters to her former doctoral advisor alternate with entries from this diary, kept by young Molly Petree, a Civil War orphan in North Carolina driven from her home, Agate Hill, by the Yankees and handed 'round from relatives to finishing schools until her 18th year. Molly's own diary and the diaries of her teachers and friends form a patchwork quilt of Molly's life from birth to death. Placed in Gatewood Academy by a benefactor, headstrong, beautiful, and independent Molly wins the affection of her fellow pupils and scorns the hypocrisy of the founders of the academy. Upon graduation, she heads for a mountain school and falls in love with a fun-loving, guitar-picking holler man until mysterious circumstances end the relationship. In the end, Molly returns to Agate Hill to live out her life surrounded by memories. Smith has worked her magic yet again; her rollicking humor, keen sense of place, deft characterizations, and raucous storytelling bring to life yet another set of memorable people and places. Highly recommended." --Carrigan Jr., Henry L.. Library Journal, 9/1/2006