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The Week in Words


I’ve been enjoying Leaving Gee’s Bend, a juvenile fiction selection by Irene Latham.   For the past several days, it has been my “recreational” read while I work through Mornings on Horseback for March’s Semicolon Book Club.  I’m enjoying both books, but today I wanted to share a little portion from Leaving Gee’s Bend.  It is a lovely, lovely story, and while this little snippet doesn’t really communicate exactly why I like the book so much, it’s a word picture I want to remember. 

I reckon Mama had been saving them potatoes to pay Teacher on the first day of school.  With the cotton harvest almost all done, school would be starting early next week.

I sighed as I put ’em in my pocket.  Now there wouldn’t be nothing to give Teacher for coming all the way from Camden.

Then again, could be Mama had something else stored up that nobody knew about.  Something else that would be just right for Teacher.  Like last Thanksgiving when the food was all set out and we was just about to say the blessing and Mama said, “Wait.  Everybody close your eyes.”  When we opened ’em, there was a fat, ripe tomato sitting in Mama’s hand!  Like it was August instead of November.

She’d wrapped that tomato in newspaper and buried it in the dirt behind the barn.  Not a one of us knew about it till she held it out, then sliced it up and put it on the table.  Didn’t matter that it was soft and a little mealy.  It was a fresh tomato when everything else had long since been blanched and preserved, then stored in jars on a shelf in the barn.  (53)

For more Week in Words posts, visit Breath of Life.

3 Responses

  1. Nice! Puts me in the mood for a good BLT. 🙂

    Irene Latham participates in Poetry Friday now and then. This is a nice intro to her fiction.

  2. Thanks so much for posting this little snippet! And I am so glad you are enjoying Ludelphia’s story. If you’ll send me your snail mail address to irene at irenelatham dot com, I’ll send you a little something “Gee’s Bend.” 🙂
    p.s. homeschooled for a while… now all 3 kids are in other education situations that seem to suit them… but I miss learning WITH them. Sigh.

  3. […] with a winsome protagonist would like this one.  You can read another short excerpt from the novel here, or you can learn more about the author by visiting her website.  She even has a blog!  I’m […]

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