Set in rural North Carolina between the Civil War and World War I, Love and Lament chronicles the Hartsoe family’s extraordinary hardships and misfortunes.
Mary Bet, the youngest of nine children, was born the same year the first railroad arrived in their county. As she comes of age during the South’s reconstruction and industrialization, she must learn to overcome her family’s curse: the deaths of her mother and siblings, a deaf and damaged older brother, and her father’s growing insanity and rejection of God.
In the rich tradition of Southern gothic literature, John Milliken Thompson transports the reader back in time through brilliant characterization and historical details to explore what it means to be a woman charting her own destiny in a rapidly evolving world dominated by men.
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This was a weird wee tale in that nothing much happened. A girl grows up with much family tragedy, and that is pretty much it, how she copes with it all.