Publisher: Ink Brush Press
Published: October 1, 2011
The Last Will and Testament of Rosetta Sugars Tramble begins with the burning of a church under suspicious circumstances in Southwest Arkansas in 1988. But we are soon taken back to 1899 where the novel spends most of its time moving back and forth between Sugars Springs and Bethel, the twined black and white townships we came to know in Myra McLarey’s critically acclaimed Water from the Well. Through the magic of McLarey’s richly textured prose, we come to understand how the tribulations and triumphs of the people of those long ago days still resound in our lives.
My thoughts: This book definitely captures the essence of the time and setting in which it takes place. McLarey’s style is more like that of a conversation, like somebody telling you the story rather than reading it. The characters are deep and layered and you really do feel as if you are immersed in the story.
I particularly like how she starts the story in 1988 and then we are transported seamlessly back to 1899. Interestingly enough, the two eras don’t feel all that different from each other. The Bible quotes at the beginning of each chapter are also a nice touch and adds more to the feel of the story as well.
I was a little afraid I might be a little lost, since this story focuses on the two towns that were in one of her previous books, “Water From the Well,” (which I have not read yet), but McLarey does such a wonderful job of bringing the towns and people to life, I didn’t feel as though I’d missed anything.
The Last Will and Testament of Rosetta Sugars Tramble is available at Amazon.com. Click here.
Myra McLarey grew up in southwest Arkansas listening to porch stories in the community where she was raised. Years later, while doing course work on a doctorate in history, she conducted research in African-American history, concentrating, particularly, on Southwest Arkansas. An award winning teacher, she has taught in public high schools, in a private high school, in community colleges, in two MFA programs (Emerson and UNH), at Vanderbilt’s Owen School of Finance, and at Harvard University. She currently lives in Nashville, TN, where she has discovered how hard it is to write a good country song.