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Virginia and Donna DeBerry and Grant

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Far From the Tree
by Virginia and Donna DeBerry and Grant  DeBerry and Grant 

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Books by Virginia and Donna DeBerry and Grant
· Far From the Tree
· Far From the Tree
· Tryin' to Sleep in the Bed You Made
· Better Than I Know Myself
· Gotta Keep On Tryin'
                >> View all



Publisher:  St. Martins Press ISBN-10:  031233091X


Copyright:  Sept. 2000 ISBN-13:  9780312330910


Strong, colorful characters distinguish DeBerry and Grant's (Tryin' to Sleep in the Bed You Made) warm and moving African-American family drama.

Professional Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Strong, colorful characters distinguish DeBerry and Grant's (Tryin' to Sleep in the Bed You Made) warm and moving African-American family drama. When Will Frazier dies, his family gathers for the funeral in Buffalo, N.Y. Della, his grieving wife, is overwhelmed by memories. Celeste, the Fraziers' bossy eldest daughter, is driving away her husband and their 23-year-old daughter, Niki, with her controlling behavior. Younger Frazier sibling Ronnie, a struggling actress, is desperate to hide her hand-to-mouth existence from the family. Will has deeded a house in Prosper, N.C., to his daughters; a few months after the funeral, just as their lives are about to bottom out, they decide to inspect the place before they sell it, despite Della's protests. The house, it is eventually revealed, once belonged to Della's biological father, who took in 10-year-old Della (who was born out of wedlock) when her mother died. As Celeste and Ronnie explore the town in which their mother grew up, Della's story unfolds. Tormented and sexually assaulted by her violent half-brother Henry, teenage Della, a talented singer, finally finds happiness with Lester, an ambitious amateur performer. Lester leaves for the city and promises to send for her, but when Della must suddenly flee for her life after Henry accidentally kills their father, she loses touch with Lester, eventually moving to New York and marrying his friend, Will, in 1957. In the present day, Della joins her daughters in Prosper when Ronnie falls ill and finds unexpected comfort from the friends she'd left behind, just as her daughters confront the realities of their lives. Although the narrative ends abruptly and predictably, the story otherwise moves gracefully between the 1950s and the present day, and an unusually varied cast of minor characters add spice to the full-bodied tale. 150,000 first printing; author tour.

School Library Journal
Adult/High School-Della Frazier and her two middle-aged daughters, Celeste and Ronnie, are in crisis. Della's husband has just died; Celeste's marriage is crumbling; and Ronnie, pursuing an acting career in New York, becomes sick and destitute. While cleaning out their father's home office, Celeste discovers that he has left her and Ronnie a house on 45 acres of land in Prosper, NC. Della fights hard to prevent her daughters from visiting the house and town that she had vowed at age 18 never to set foot in again. This novel has a seamless, omniscient narrative voice. The major theme here is the importance of facing up to the past and the present even though it may be painful. YAs will relate to the childhood and teenage years of the three main characters and see the bittersweet relationships among them. Young women in frequent conflict with their own mothers will also identify with Celeste's 23-year-old daughter when she fights against her mother's attempts to control her life. Those who are dreaming of a career in the enter-tainment industry will be interested in Ronnie's story, as well as the early musical careers of Della and her first boyfriend.-Joyce Fay Fletcher, Prince William County Library System, VA

DeBerry and Grant's second collaboration, about four generations of African American women, is captivating and compelling. All the women, particularly Annie's love child, Odella, the granddaughters, Celeste and Veronica, and the fourth-generation daughter, Niki, display strength and determination. Their struggles as women who are mothers, daughters, and sisters lead them back to family property in Prosper, North Carolina. The old saying that the apple does not fall far from the tree is poignantly depicted in this family, whether it's Annie's catering business, the great-granddaughters' quest to become chefs, Odella's dismissal of the past, or Celeste's and Veronica's inability to make their lives work in the present. Each woman arrives at the family property for different reasons and with different motives. Their discovery of decades-old secrets and family skeletons sets the women on a course toward healing and reconciliation. The time spent together sharing the truth with the women who mean the most and wish the best for them helps each woman to become reenergized and refocused. This story is brave, realistic, and touching. It will definitely be another hit for the duo! Lillian Lewis
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title

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