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Cross Plains Public Library (TX)

"Doll-Baby" by Laura Lane McNeal

 Product Details

I just finished reading “Doll-Baby,” a debut book by Laura Lane McNeal.  The book came highly recommended by a patron of the library, and after reading it, I agree. It is high on my list of “must reads.” This is a story of family & friends during the segregation of the 1960s.  It could be compared to “The Help” and “The Secret Life of Bees.”  It is an uplifting, poignant story that weaves together the lives of five women who prove that “family” can be found where you least expect it.

The story is told through the eyes of a young girl named Ibby, who is learning to understand race for the first time.  It starts during the summer of 1964 when Ibby’s father dies and her mother deposits her in New Orleans with her eccentric grandmother, Fannie.  Fannie has a mother and daughter working for her as domestic help; the daughter happens to have a girl near Ibby’s age, and of course they become friends.  The heart of this story involves Fannie and her feelings toward her domestic help and how intertwined their lives are during a time of racial unrest.

I classify this book as “wonderful;” it has humor, sadness, and faith, plus an ending that I absolutely did not see coming, but sure wrapped up the story.  Be sure to check it out at the library!

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