Less is more in this family saga, where lives are condensed into a few pages. The narrative shifts from person to person, backwards and forwards in time, creating a kaleidoscope of voices and associations. Yes, it's sometimes hard keeping tabs on who is related to who, who is black and who is white. What emerges is a story greater than the sum of its parts, and more memorable I thought, because of what is left unsaid.
Every Thursday afternoon in Buckner County, Georgia, Agnes Christie and Charlotte Applewood pulled weeds from the graves of elders they had never known, but now found themselves caring for in the afterlife. The two senior citizens shared between them the loss of two good husbands, neither interred in St. Andrew's Episcopal Cemetery. Agnes's husband had died two years before of liver cancer. Charlotte's beloved, Reuben, had died suddenly from an aneurysm. And so, these two women, who could barely tolerate one another as little girls, were now sometimes acquaintances and dear friends.