It is 1958 and Tangy Mae, 13, is one of ten children living with their mother, Rozelle “Rosie” Quinn, in a small shack in Georgia. Rozelle has such fair skin she can pass for white and all of her children, except for Tangy Mae, are all fair complected. Rozell treats all of her children terribly but Tangy Mae seems to get the worst of the abuse. She is the smartest of all of the children and loves going to school, but her mother feels school isn’t necessary and wants her to get a job to help support the family. Unfortunately, this includes making visits with Rosie to the “farmhouse,” otherwise known as the local whorehouse. The amount of pain and suffering she inflicts on her children is unimaginable.
It’s been a while since a book has triggered so many different emotions — anger, sadness, confusion, disbelief, hate. There were times when I had to take a break from reading this because the scenes were so terrible. Rosie was a terrible, evil woman and I can’t imagine how her children still continued to love her, no matter WHAT she did to them. Even though this book was difficult to read, it was still a very good story. This was Delores Phillips’ debut novel and I feel she did an excellent job.