Mary Morony, Author of Apron Strings, Done Growed Up and If It Ain't One Thing
READING

Grady Harp, July 14 Amazon

Grady Harp, July 14 Amazon

‘Change; not even the quarter, nickel, or dime type was appreciated in our house.’ Virginia author Mary Morony is a Southern humanist who steps onto the literary stage with an exceptionally elegant and deeply meaningful debut novel, APRON STRINGS. She lived in the South during the times about which she writes, waited until later in life to embrace her higher education by earning an degree in English form the University of Virginia, and then turned her personal history into an examination of that critical period in our history when the Civil Rights movement finally brought an end to the segregation in the South. She has experienced much but this is not a reflective memoir. This book is a richly sculpted story about the meaning of family – wherever and however that core is found – and the influence of the Southern experience on how we relate to each other in toto as human beings, wholly equal.
The story takes place in 1957, a very important aspect of the novel. Sallee Mack and her three sisters (Stuart, Helen and Gordy) live in a house divided – a father who has changed his career as a lawyer to that of a shopping mall entrepreneur, an alcoholic and severely abusive mother Ginny and a loving caring black maid Ethel. As though in keeping with Southern Gothic novels form Morony introduces secrets, mysterious links, crucial family disintegration aspects, but rather than summarizing the grand story she tells (it is far preferable to read this multifocal novel on your own for the impact it carries about racism, bigotry, and the inherent beauty of bonds between children and their Gilead found in Ethel), the aspects of Morony’s writing debut deserve evaluation.
Many authors have addressed this Southern flavored history of the beginnings of the Civil Rights movement, but few have offered it with the extraordinary dignity of writing style that Mary Morony demonstrates. When other writers attempt to write conversations in the black speaking manner of the period the tendency is to fall into `Uncle Remus’ style of Joel Chandlers stories written in 1881. Morony avoids that completely and instead reconstructs the flavor of black discourse with an eloquence that is musical and additive rather than distractingly insulting to the reader’s eyes. Morony actually sings this entire novel – so beautiful are her metaphors, painting of scenes, lighting her stage where her drama takes place, and most of all, finding that exquisite beauty of speaking as a child in a child’s voice cultured with simplicity, insight, relation of needs, and that thin line of connecting a child’s mind with that of adult response – both dodging abuse and embracing love.
This is a debut novel, and rarely has a debut been so impressive. Mary Morony is an artist of significance. It will be fascinating to observe her output as it most surely will grow. 

Grady Harp, July 14 Amazon

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