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iUniverse, 2012 - Fiction - 186 pages
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"Yes'm" is a subtly dual-layered joy of a first novel. The story begins in a 1950 segregated Virginia. The main characters are Pearl, the black hired help for an upper middle class white family and caregiver for young Samantha Lee. Samantha chronicles, in first person narrative, the early years and experiences she and Pearl share in a town racially divided by both railroad tracks and philosophy.

As Sammie matures through the tumultuous 1960s, she continues to record the challenges, influences and local impact she and Pearl witness when the State enforces the integration of public schools and the Nation struggles to achieve civil and women's rights.

By 1969, having lived through two decades that could not have contrast more, Sammie and Pearl find themselves still in the same small town, but a very different place from where their epic began.

"The stories of Pearl and Sammie intertwine in a way that will leave you both nostalgic for an earlier era and grateful that the uglier parts of the past are behind us." -S. E. Jacobs, attorney, Richmond, Virginia

"The chapters flow like vignettes as Sammie and Pearl come to life." -B. L. Cloud, MEd, University of Virginia; Goodreads reviewer

""Yes'm" makes us remember the joys and pains of being part of a family-wherever we may have grown up." -E. T. Fife, retired educator

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About the author (2012)

J. M. Duke was born and raised in a small Virginia village, a junction between two railroads with an approximate 1950s population of three thousand. She was inspired to write "Yes'm" when a lifelong friend asked her why she did not appear in a kindergarten picture. She currently lives in Alabama.

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