It’s hard to be objective about Susan Gregg Gilmore. Not only do we admire her writing (LOOKING FOR SALVATION AT THE DAIRY QUEEN captured our hearts when FoxTale was a little bitty baby bookstore,) but we love Susan “The Person” and Dan “The Husband” as well! It’s one of the joys of bookselling, having the opportunity to really get to know our authors, and to be there as they give birth to their novels. Susan is coming back to FoxTale on April 10 (2014) along with the wondrous Wendy Webb. To get you in the mood for a super author event, here’s the review I wrote just before THE FUNERAL DRESS was published:
Gilmore has captured the essence of the indomitable female spirit in THE FUNERAL DRESS, a story about mothers (childless and otherwise) who are born to nurture, to mentor, and to protect the needy with unabashed ferocity. I watched main character Emmalee Bullard’s fingers take careful stitches of the burying dress and bore witness to her grief as if I shared the very room with her, so well-crafted was this novel. Emmalee and the other strong women of Red Chert Holler circled my heart as they went through their tiring and not-so-fictional days sewing collars and sleeves in a workplace where they endured a host of abuses and indignities, but still found room to respect and watch out for one another.After work was when their real jobs began, as they took care of their community in the way generations of Southern women have known how: delivering food and dispensing advice that left no room for argument from lily-livered men who stood between them and what needed to be done. I was rooting so hard for Emmalee Bullard, that I shouted at my book in several scenes. Susan Gregg Gilmore has written a thoughtful, inspiring story that will flat out stay with you after you turn the last page. Read THE FUNERAL DRESS in honor of the rocking strong women in your life.