the story of Lori Jean, whose short life and early death are woven into this worldly-wise novel set in the rural South of the 1950s. Told from the point of view of ten-year-old Lori Jean, a sensitive dreamer of a child who longs for a "normal" family, "Roseflower Creek" boldly explores the dynamics of a dysfunctional Southern family. Abandoned by her father when she was five years old, her world consists of a weak-willed mother and an alcoholic step-father who can'tor won'tkeep a steady job. Yet Lori Jean is filled with the curiosity and hope common to all children. After Lori Jean's step-father, Ray, begins attending AA meetings, he seems like a changed man, and Lori Jean begins to think that finally she and her mama are going to experience some long-overdo happinessto be a real family and "git ourselves one of them futures, just like regular folks." But when Ray returns to his former ways and Lori Jean uncovers his secret, everything begins to spin out of control and she pays the ultimate price for what she knows. Humorous, yet poignant, "Roseflower Creek" is a story of the loss of innocence and the power of forgiveness. Above all, it is a tribute and a testament to the human heart's ability to heal. Told with an honesty and authenticity that only a child narrator could achieve, it is a remarkable novel that will move readers long after the last paragraph has been read.
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