Net of Jewels
Rhoda Manning is home for the summer in Dunleith, Alabama. In an age of conformity and innocence, the 19-year-old is tired of conventional virtue. Resisting her easy life, she yearns for meaning and beauty, profundity and mystery. Impulsive and adventurous, she attends a midnight meeting of the Klan, and then repelled, hurls herself into the civil rights movement.
Paperback, 360 pages
Published March 1st 1993 by Back Bay Books
(first published 1992)
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Jan 02, 2008 Katherine rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: women, southern lit fans
I just finished reading this for the 4th or 5th time. The troubled protagonist, Rhoda, is a character who resonates with me. Her feelings and emotions become more real as you get to know her, and that can be painful at times because she is one fucked-up girl. Luckily I wasn't as spoiled and my family wasn't as insane, and it was the 80's instead of the '50s. Therefore I didn't turn out as wicked as poor Miss Rhoda, but it easily could've happened. And so when I read about her life and her circum...more
The story was ok. I've certainly read much better about the south in this era. I was not a fan of the writing. Also, I found it odd that being this book was set in AL, nobody had a southern dialect. A few "fixing"s were thrown in (although the correct pronunciation is "fixin"). I was born and raised in TN & AL so there are particulars you look for in a book set in this region and time period. I fully expected someone with a dialect or at least some southern expressions. And there were so man...more
This is an interesting insight on Southern life, particularly of a white young female living in 1960s Alabama. You will probably end up hating the protagonist but you will also have a deeper understanding of the White south before the Civil Rights Movement, which is valuable in itself. Gilchrist is a great story teller, so if nothing else, you will enjoy this book as a quick, uncomplicated read.
I really thought I had read this years ago, but as I started reading it again, I realized I hadn't. I know Rhoda well from Gilchrist's other books, though. And man, I had forgotten how tough she is to take. But it's a tribute to Gilchrist that however ridiculous and flat-out hateful Rhoda is, I still couldn't put the book down.