Roswell, Georgia, a small city rich in history on the north side of Atlanta, chose Robin Oliveira’s first novel, My Name is Mary Sutter, as their Sixth Annual Roswell Reads Selection. At a reception for Robin Friday night, which included delicious gluten-free cupcakes and lots of conversation about reading, committee members told me they had wanted to choose a book by a woman and also one that touched on the Civil War, this year being the 150th anniversary of its beginning.
The read began in February and all sort of events took place around it, including civil war reenactments, “Follow Your Dream” photography contests, and weekend discussions. Previous selections included Kim Edwards’ The Memory Keeper’s Daughter and Terry Kay’s The Valley of Light.
The Archibald Smith Plantation, the location of the reception, was built around 1845 and is in wonderful condition, the rooms filled with Civil War trunks, slave-made baskets, corn-husk dolls, and two of the first TVs. And more… Apparently there is some value in never getting rid of anything. When the last of the family members died, the house was bequeathed to the housekeeper, Mamie Cotton, who lived in it until she died. True to the period, I had to go outside to the bathroom.
At her talk at a Literary Luncheon on Saturday to over a hundred people, Robin received a standing ovation.
Schenectady County, New York, also chose Robin’s book for their community read, which takes place in April. Robin will speak there on April 9th.
Sounds like a wonderful event and a book I’d love to read. But my favorite is the name Mamie Cotton, which conjures images of the South and the Civil War.
It was fun. Robin’s book, about a midwife who wants to be a doctor at the time of the Civil War, is wonderful. The paperback is coming out early–March 29th–because of the 150th anniversary.
Yes, Mamie Cotton is a great name, but even better was this old trunk, one of the sons sent home. It was found intact, and full, in the attic and now sits in the parlor with a list of what was in it on an easel. I know there’s a novel there…
This sounds like a delightful day. I’m so happy that Robin’s book is a delight to so many.
My favorite sentence is…”Apparently there is some value in never getting rid of anything.” Very funny!
Friday night in Georgia and book chatter everywhere. Couples who had read the book crowded around Robin. One woman asked about research. Another about what had caused the death of a character. Such fun.