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Here to Get My Baby Out of Jail
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Here to Get My Baby Out of Jail

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3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  114 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
When Here to Get My Baby Out of Jail was first published in 1983, it was named the best first novel of the year by USA Today. Set in the tobacco country of North Carolina in 1937, the story is told through the voice of Roxy Walston, the 20-year-old daughter of the town undertaker, wife of a struggling tobacco farmer, and mother of a two-year-old. When Jack Ruffin, a wander ...more
Paperback, 145 pages
Published March 12th 2004 by John F. Blair, Publisher (first published January 1st 1983)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Linda
Aug 02, 2014 Linda rated it really liked it
I love novels with quirky Southern characters. Beautiful writing rich with fresh metaphors.
Trish
Jul 13, 2015 Trish rated it really liked it
A coming-of-age story set in the rural, tobacco-growing part of North Carolina,
JoeyHatesJazz
Oct 14, 2016 JoeyHatesJazz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I read this book when it first came out back in the 80s and wondered how I'd find it 30 years later. It's well written and maintains your interest.
Gila Gila
Oct 17, 2015 Gila Gila rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
*SOME SPOILERS*
It doesn't get more Down Home South than this. A 1937 funeral home surrounded by the smell of curing tobacco, the hired help a crew of straggling man-boy drifters who just land there, one way or the other, hauling cardboard suitcases; and a narrator named Roxy, a lonely farmer's wife, whose fascination with one of these men - budding in the first two pages - turns to summer passion and eventually a death, properly horrific for this genre. The buildup of heat between the 2 lovers c
...more
Elliot Ratzman
Oct 08, 2014 Elliot Ratzman rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club
“Our motions were like the unrolling of a Persian carpet. Our tongues were the tenderest chameleons of spring.” Someone in my book club called this “a cross between Brokeback Mountain and Bridges of Madison County.” I added that it reminded me of Camus’ The Stranger. Roxy, our young protagonist, is in a fog—of adulterous lust and small town inertia—until tragedy snaps her into selfhood, into agency: southern-fried existentialism. Written in the 1980s and made into a middling film, Summer Heat (1 ...more
May
Jan 07, 2016 May rated it really liked it
I quite liked this book, which kept me awake and engaged throughout. The topic and the imagery is not for the faint of heart. It resonates quite realistically and draws you into the crazy situation.

Shivers definitely takes you back to another time. Her ability to write in colloquial language is reminiscent of Zora Neal Hurston. I still think Hurston is ever so slightly better. That said, I have no doubt if a different subject matter was chosen, that Shivers would be added to every US reading lis
...more
Jim
Aug 10, 2012 Jim rated it liked it


A slight, little beauty. A wisp of a novel weighing in at 145 pages that blows through like the refrain of an old Appalachian murder ballad. (The title IS actually taken from an old song!) Originally published, to much acclaim as they say, in 1983. beautiful descriptions and period details. The book is set in 1937 in a NC tobacco town and tells the story of a doomed, aren't they always, love triangle.
Ann Holland
Aug 03, 2014 Ann Holland rated it really liked it
I'm ashamed to admit that I'd never heard of Louise Shivers until I read her recent obituary and learned she wrote her first book at the age of 53. I was completely entranced by this tale of a love triangle and finished it in an afternoon. Although one can sense the tragic ending to come, in the meantime the romance sizzles in the small tobacco farming community in North Carolina in the 1930s. One can almost smell the tobacco curing.
Sharon
Oct 26, 2014 Sharon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Steamy summer on the tobacco farm. Well-written and well-paced short book about a love triangle in 1930's North Carolina. The author died this past summer (2014)and there was a short article about her work and death in our local newspaper. This book was hailed as wonderful so I immediately put in a request at the library (late July) and just received in a couple days ago (late October). I am glad I was steered towards this 30-year-old book.
Darlene
Apr 17, 2016 Darlene rated it really liked it
At sixteen Roxy married a North Carolina tobacco farmer. At 20, with a toddler, her daily grind had lost its luster in the summer heat, until Jack moved in as a hired hand. Restless recklessness plants seeds of its own, which provided grist for a quiet small town in 1937.
Kathy Brooke
Aug 12, 2014 Kathy Brooke rated it liked it
Found about author because she died just recently. Only published two novellas. This is a short story that packs a punch. I recommend it especially if you like southern lit.
Jo
Oct 12, 2008 Jo rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013
I'd rate it another half star if I had the option. Good solid southern feeling and writing about an ill-fated love triangle.
Carol Johnson
Really enjoyed this book! Great Southern writing...easy read....gripping plot....believable, interesting characters. Very strong female characters. I read it cover to cover in 2 days.
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