Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Darkest Child by Delores Phillips (2005)

Yet another painful and gripping story about an abusive mother; this time set in the 1950's in a small town in Georgia.  Rozelle Quinn, a mother of ten children by as many fathers, reminded me in many ways of "Mommie Dearest" with her unbelievable cruelty towards her children and other people in her life.  It was sometimes almost too heart wrenching to continue reading.

The narrator of the story is her daughter, Tangy Mae, the darkest skinned of the family, but at the same time the most intelligent.  Tangy Mae is desperate to finish high school, but has to work around her mother's demands that she help supplement the family's income by cleaning during the day and accompanying her to work as a prostitute by night.  At the same time, Tangy Mae has to take care of and protect her younger siblings, and deal with the rivalries that crop up between her and the older siblings.  No one seems to be safe or cherished in the Quinn household at any time.  Their mother literally gets away with murder, and not just once, but three times in the course of the book!

Unfortunately, the story ends just as Tangy Mae manages to escape.  I would have loved to be able to follow her on her journey out of hell and see how she managed to turn her life around after surviving all she did.  

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