Virginia author Mary Marony is a Southern humanist who stepped 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. Her 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.
And now Mary continues her epic story with Volume 2 of her Apron Strings Trilogy with an even finer and more polished novel DONE GROWED UP. The story picks up where Volume 1 left off and is best condensed on the provided synopsis: ‘When we last left the Mackey Family in the late 1950s, their lives were in turmoil. Divorce, alcoholism, racism, death, puberty – what WEREN’T they dealing with? Ethel, a black maid in a racist world – the true heart and soul of the Mackey Family, is the children’s only constant as she fights her own numerous demons. Twelve-year-old Sallee struggles to understand the world with little enlightenment from the adults around her. Her older sister Stuart, a college student New York City, finally escaped the South and drama of her family only to succumb to the terrible temptations of urban life; Gordon, a 14 year old boy feeling anger and hatred as he begins to slowly realize the harsh reality of the people and world around him; while Ginny, newly divorced mother of four, finds that she’s not the spoiled princess she once was. She is overwhelmed with responsibility, feelings of abandonment, and alcoholism. Joe, Ginny’s ex, and the children’s father, revels in new-found wealth and popularity with women, yet yearns for family and simpler times.’
There could not be a more propitious time to bring this story to the public’s attention as racism is still front and center, but he manner in which Mary addresses history is personal and that makes it even more poignant.