Friday, March 9, 2012

Child of the South by Joanna Catherine Scott

Joanna Catherine Scott penned a post Civil War historical novel titled CHILD OF THE SOUTH that is a sequel to "The Road from Chapel Hill." The book centers on Eugenia May Spotswood, who returns home to North Carolina to search for her birth mother, and to pick up the pieces of her life. Tension between freed slaves and those who oppose reconstruction, together with Eugenia's relationship with her senator/benefactor, supply the backdrop for this portrait of the South, when education and medical attention were needed as much as carpentry and bricklaying skills. There are racial and social divisions to be set aside if any progress can be made, and romance also enters the story, which is narrated with theatrical effect by Karen White. While it could have been easier to simply read the book with a straightforward, low key narration, White has chosen to dazzle us with a fully sustained interpretation of character voices, making it seem almost as though listening to a radio drama. Even the point of view character never steps out of character in her breathy summation of events, making this more of an audio movie than a dry recitation of the narrative. Effective and different.

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