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Apron Strings.

Apron Strings

Mary Morony

Privately Published

c/o Sgarlat Publicity

PO Box 4904, Charlottesville, VA 22905-4204

9780615951799, $14.95, 252pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: At seven years old, Sallee Mackey is wary of the grown-ups that populate her Southern world--especially her mother, Ginny--and with good reason.

Ginny is flat out dangerous and not the kind of dangerous that threatens mortal harm, though at times death might be preferred. It's far worse than that, especially if you cross her in one of her moods. Sallee learns early on to rely on stealth and a watchful eye--skills absolutely essential to living with her family. The one grown-up exception might be Ethel, the black maid who has been with the family for two generations. But even Ethel has secrets.

Ethel and Ginny's relationship goes back to girlhood. While Ginny has conveniently forgotten that fact, Sallee hasn't. Like a hound on a scent, Sallee questions Ethel constantly about the mysteries of their shared history. Only Mr. Dabney, the bigoted neighbor next door knows that he, too, shares in that same past.

As martial and neighborhood tensions rise, the family is beset with a number of menacing events, and Sallee discovers growing schisms inside her own home. Her parents' marriage dissolves, and Joe Mackey, Sallee's father, asks Ethel to testify on his behalf in a custody suit. Ethel's conflicted loyalties threaten to destroy not only herself but the children she loves.

Critique: Complex and multi-layered, "Apron Strings" is a deftly written and compelling read from beginning to end. Author Mary Morony is able to showcase fully developed characters and a superbly crafted story that will linger in the mind long after the novel is finished and set back upon the shelf. "Apron Strings" is highly recommended for personal reading lists and community library general fiction collections. It should be noted that "Apron Strings" is also available in a Kindle edition ($3.99).

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Title Annotation:The Fiction Shelf
Publication:Small Press Bookwatch
Article Type:Book review
Date:Jul 1, 2014
Words:317
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