Lights Up the River: A Novel
When Lorilee Gibbs moves to Memphis from Hernando, Mississippi, a small town twenty-two miles south, in the mid-fifties, she is grief-strickened and ill prepared for life on her own. Her young C.P.A. husband, Tim, has recently died of Hodgkin's disease which leaves her devastated. Suddenly thrust out of her comfort zone into a life of which she knows little, she wonders whether she will be able to fend for herself. Can she even hold a job? Memphis is a big city, progressive and moving - - - and Mama says that all big cities are likely to have an element of crime. Why, on her first day there the newspaper carries an article stating that one of her former sorority sisters' car was found abandoned on the Memphis-Arkansas Bridge. Did she jump or was she murdered and thrown overboard? It is anybody's guess, but it sure does make on think. And there was that nice white man who cam sown from theNorth to visit a colored friend, Pastor Mose of the Briley Church. Why has he suddenly disappeared and hasn't been heard from since? Did he leave on his own or has he met with mysterious demise? As baffling as it all is, Lorilee finds Memphis exciting; plenty of fashionable nightspots and shopping. Certainly, plenty of interesting men to vie for her attention, too, not to mention her new girlfriend, Jody Manning who lives next door. She's nice as ca be, but Jody has jproblems ofher own; some too intimate to discuss in mixed company. Sure won't tell Mama, though. She'd say, "Come on back home, baby. Hernando's the place for you." Mama's like that; always worrying. Opinionated, too. No, no point in tellin' he every little detail. She'd just worry her sweet head off!
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