Friday, August 9, 2013

Resting In the Bosom of the Lamb

Augusta Trobaugh is one of my favorite Southern authors. She really catches the essence of southern living, describing a way of life that is passing away. This story is about four eccentric Georgia ladies.( If you read a lot of books about the south, you probably think we are all eccentric!) Set in the 1970s, the novel follows the lives of Miss Cora and her nieces, Wynona and Lauralee. All are elderly women who are looked after by Pet, their black maid.  Pet is the same age as Wynona and all the ladies are beginning to feel the ravages of age.  The ladies live in the old house that the family has owned for generations and the house is in less than grand condition as well. In the winter, the ladies close off the drafty parlor and live in the kitchen until spring rolls around. Their lives revolve around their friends and their churches. Miss Cora has become obsessed with the Family Book that details the genealogy of her family. She is distressed that there is no one left to pass the book on to...their family will die out with the deaths of Wynona and Lauralee.  But is that true?  After losing their good friend, Miss Addie, who lives across the street, all the ladies reflect on the fact that their time on earth is dwindling down. Miss Cora tells the same family stories over and over. Wynona tries her best to keep things the same. Lauralee is lost in her own world and this is respected by the other ladies. Pet keeps doing the same things she has done all her life, noting that the Civil Rights movement has made little difference in her life.

One of the most poignant aspects of this book is the ladies trip to Camp Meeting each summer. In the old days of the South, Camp Meetings were held for a week or so at a time. Families considered this their vacation. They moved to the camp meeting site, many owning little houses called Tents and they spent this time, singing, eating, listening to preaching and visiting with friends they saw infrequently.  For these sweet ladies, it seems that every year less people attend Camp Meeting. The older people are dying and the younger people do not see the need to keep this tradition going.  Pet opines that one day they are going to arrive at Camp Meeting and they are going to be the only people there! To add to their dismay, when they get home from Camp Meeting, they find that Miss Addie's son has sold her beautiful old home to the owner of the local funeral home. Now when they sit on their porch at night, the funeral home will be right across the street. They cannot understand why Son did not want to live in the family home!  Times are changing and one of the biggest changes is the acknowledgement of a secret that has haunted Miss Cora for years.

Truly this book has been one of my favorite summer reads! Swan Place is still my favorite Trobaugh work but Resting in the Bosom of the Lamb is a close second!!


Jenn@Sweet T Makes Three said...

This sounds like a book my mom would enjoy. I have to have sugary-sweet happy endings though. I'm weak. LOL

Arlene Grimm said...

Well it did end nicely Jenn...but a lot went on between the beginning and the end that could be distressing!!

Anonymous said...

Arlene, when I saw the title on my bloglist, I thought Oh No! someone had passed away. I am happy to see that my assumption was wrong. :-)