The View From Here

Brian Keith Jackson

Set in an environment of casual prejudice and commonplace poverty, this remarkable novel opens with one of Anna's rambling, poignant letters - missives she can never mail - to Ida Mae Ramsey, her best friend since they sat together dangling their legs near the soft waters of the creek, where Ida Mae spiked Anna's lemonade. Desperate to escape the trap of marriage and children and find an independent life, Ida Mae packed up and headed north, flitting from job to job, city to city, her infrequent letters arriving with no return address. Anna stayed home and married Joseph Henry Thomas, her beloved J.T., raising her five boys and stepping softly around her husband's vast silences. Now Anna is pregnant again - a girl this time, she is sure - a girl J.T. says they can't afford to keep. As spring swells inexorably toward summer, Anna misses Ida Mae's comfort and support almost more than she can bear. With remarkable insight and compassion, The View from Here illuminates the universal, unspoken bonds - so strong, yet so easily damaged - that pulse through families, and the twisted skeins of memory and desire that linger only in our most secret hearts.

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