Friday, June 01, 2007



Linda Scott reviews THE SISTERHOOD OF BLACKBERRY CORNER (Dial Press, 2006)

When an abandoned infant wrapped in a blanket is found lying in the creek by fishermen, the discovery changes the lives of the people in this close-knit, church-centered African-American community. Haunted by the tragedy and determined that it will not happen again, Bonnie Wilder and her best friend, Thora, enlist the help of other churchwomen in an underground effort to place abandoned children with people who really want them. Bonnie, longing to have a child of her own, has found her calling in this mission, although her beloved husband, Naz, does not want children and refuses adoption.

Their compassionate project, begun with good intentions, has unexpected consequences and reactions from the community, and Bonnie is ultimately challenged to find the courage and strength within herself and in her female friendships to deal with shattering and unexpected consequences in her own marriage.

The story, which is set in the 1950s, is told with humor, compassion and intrigue from the vantage point of 1985. The plot unfolds with rich, colorful dialogue and imagery steeped in Southern African-American culture. The characters face difficult life decisions with the caring, love and support of female friends, and all the intriguing loose ends are tied up with satisfaction.

Linda Scott, Bartlett Branch Library

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