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Her Own Place
Cover of Her Own Place
Her Own Place
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Dori Sanders' first novel, CLOVER was a smash hit. Now, with HER OWN PLACE, Dori Sanders tells a story about ordinary people taking part in a transformation of heart and mind—in the South, in the nation. "Resonates as powerfully as an old hymn."—Kirkus Reviews; "Like a ripe summer peach, HER OWN PLACE just keeps getting better and better until the last page leaves the reader longing for more."—Christian Science Monitor. A LITERARY GUILD SELECTION.

Dori Sanders' first novel, CLOVER was a smash hit. Now, with HER OWN PLACE, Dori Sanders tells a story about ordinary people taking part in a transformation of heart and mind—in the South, in the nation. "Resonates as powerfully as an old hymn."—Kirkus Reviews; "Like a ripe summer peach, HER OWN PLACE just keeps getting better and better until the last page leaves the reader longing for more."—Christian Science Monitor. A LITERARY GUILD SELECTION.

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    1
  • Library copies:
    1
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  • ATOS:
  • Lexile:
    730
  • Interest Level:
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    3

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About the Author-
  • Dori Sanders was born in York County, South Carolina. Her father's farm, where her family still raises Georgia Belle and Alberta peaches, is one of the oldest black-owned farms in York County. In the growing season she farms the family land, cultivating peaches, watermelons, and vegetables, and helps staff Sanders' Peach Shed, her family's farmstand. Clover, her first novel, was followed by the novel Her Own Place and a cookbook, Dori Sanders' Country Cooking.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    January 4, 1993
    Told in simple prose with a country lilt, this novel by the author of Clover works a homespun charm that grows steadily more powerful. We meet black teenager Mae Lee Barnes in rural South Carolina, where she is hoping her high school sweetheart will propose before he goes off to fight in WW II. They marry; while he serves in the Army, she works in a munitions plant, saves every cent and, with a little help from her parents, buys a farm from a white family. Her handsome but feckless husband gives her five children, then abandons them, but Mae Lee never buckles. Sanders recounts the events in Mae Lee's development fluidly, almost as if she were telling her story aloud. As Mae Lee matures, her humor as well as dignity become ever more accessible, even when her memory and strength begin to ebb. A handful of touching sections capture the pain of petty racism, as when Mae Lee, the only black volunteer at the hospital, attends a dinner party hosted by a colleague and spies a ``kerchief-clad, red-lipped black mammy doll'' in the kitchen cupboard. With this warm and winning novel, Sanders demonstrates growing mastery of the craft. LG selection; author tour.

  • Library Journal

    March 15, 1993
    Sanders follows her award-winning first novel, Clover ( LJ 3/1/90), with a novel about the life and times of Mae Lee Barnes. The story begins when Mae Lee is in high school during World War II and ends when she is in her sixties. During each phase of her life, Mae Lee faces down new challenges with courage and determination. Early on, when she is abandoned by her husband, Mae Lee struggles to raise her five children while running a farm. In her later years, she struggles fo find fulfillment after her children are grown. The pathos is well balanced with humor: Mae Lee's everyday trials include her parents' deaths, the realization that her memory is slipping, and the shock of seeing her grandson wearing an earring. The novel also chronicles the transformation of rural South Carolina through racial integration. Sanders subtly shows Mae Lee's life to be richer than that of the wealthy white woman she so admired during her early years. A salute to the extraordinary in ordinary lives and a delightful reading experience.-- Joanne Snapp, Virginia Commonwealth Univ., Richmond

    Copyright 1993 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    February 15, 1993
    From the warm, delightful "Clover," her first novel, Sanders takes a great leap forward in good and truthful storytelling, and she lands square on her feet. Much extended in scope compared to its predecessor, "Her Own Place" tells a whole life, that of Mae Lee Barnes, who, like author Sanders herself, is a farmer's daughter who musters true grit to keep body and soul, life and home, together. As the novel opens, Mae Lee, now in old age, is recollecting the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, when Mae Lee was just sixteen. As the story of her past unfolds, we see a young woman of fortitude marry a soldier, work in a munitions plant while he's away, and buy farmland of her own in his absence. Eventually her husband returns from overseas, but theirs is not to be a happy marriage: several children later, her spouse cuts out, and Mae Lee faces a life that for all appearances looks as if it will be awfully difficult. As the adage says about making lemonade when handed lemons, Mae Lee provides her children and herself with lives of substance they can be proud of. Fully and lovingly realized characters mark this quiet yet glowing novel that has the taste of the salt of the earth. ((Reviewed Feb 15, 1993))(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 1993, American Library Association.)

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    Algonquin Books
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