Very disappointed in this book. The premise was decent: young girl running away from home connecting with a lady with a baby then travel across the states; however, I never found myself ever totally engrossed in the story or committing to the characters. It was set in the 1960s when segregation was rampant and the little girl was a white child travelling with a black woman and a white baby. Minimal moments of not being distracted while reading for me, which is unusual. If I am into a book, nothing will distract me from the story. Alas, this was not the case for this book.
This book was our Books & Broads Book Club choice for November, NOVEMBER! I started reading it on the 10th of November and had to put it down because I could not focus on reading the book. I picked it back up on the 21st of November and just finished it today, the 28th of December. I have NEVER taken that long to read a book, two weeks max, but this was a rough read for me.
The story follows Starla, a white child in the 1960s, who decides to run away so she does not get punished by her Mamie. While running away, a car pulls over with a black woman driving who also had a baby in a basket. Eula, the woman, picked up Starla and starts driving her to her house to let her rest for the night. Starla realizes the baby, James, was a white baby that Eula found on the church steps. After staying the night with Eula and her abusive husband, Wallace, the story follows Starla and Eula’s trek across the states to reach Tennessee where Starla’s Momma lives.
During their travels, Starla witnesses life for a black person in the 1960s and finds herself hating how the white people treated them. From one situation to another, the story always has Starla being helped by someone after causing trouble. Now, all this sounds fine and good as far as a story goes, but this was such a beating. The characters were predictable and one dimensional as far as the story goes. Starla always gets into bad situations because of her mouth, Eula always trusts the Good Lord to help them find their way while saving Starla from her situations she creates.
On and on this story went and I could not invest in the characters nor the storyline. The book had minimal moments where the reader felt anything for these characters and the writing is in first person (which I HATE), not just first person; first person with a bad accent. The author, Susan Crandall wrote the story as if we were listening to Starla talk in her country bumpkin accent. Annoying. It was cute at first, but throughout the story, it became annoying.
I give Whistling Past The Graveyard by Susan Crandall 1 out of 5 Bookmarks. I do not recommend this story to anyone, sorry, Dear Bloggites.