Debbie's Reviews > The Queen of Palmyra
The Queen of Palmyra
by Minrose Gwin
by Minrose Gwin
Feb 10, 11
Read from February 02 to 09, 2011
What a tragic story! It is similar to The Help in that the author grew up in MS and according to her, experienced the white side of this story and observed the black side. The characters are fictional, however, one character is based on the author's babysitter as a child. While I enjoyed The Help, this story captivated me sooner and was more riveting. It is told from the eyes of 10 year old Florence Irene Forrest. It is 1963 and she is living in Millwood, MS. Her mother is the town "cake lady" and an alcoholic. Her father has great pride in being the 4th generation Nighthawk for the Klan. While her father has great disdain for "outside agitators" in the "negro" population, her mother grew up in an affluent family with a black caretaker and the same woman (Zenie), is hired to care for Florence. Her mother would do anything to help the same population that her father would rather see destroyed to maintain "purity." I experienced a whole range of emotions while reading this and had difficulty sleeping two nights in a row (I am kind of a wimp). There is anger, disgust, fear and especially sadness at what this girl endures. The descriptives used by the author made me feel as though I was in the room many times. While it is disturbing, it is unfortunately also easy to believe a family such as this could exist. After reading this and The Help, it makes me wonder if this horrifying hatred still exists in some people and I am just oblivious to it. I pray not!
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