Catfish Alley, by Lynne Bryant (2011)

Genre: Contemporary
Interest level: Adult
Catfish AlleyHaving thoroughly enjoyed The Help, I was delighted to see another novel set in the South on the new book shelf at Firehall Library. And I was quickly immersed again in a world of racial tension, oppressive heat, catfish and “cathead biscuits” (complete with recipe). Roxanne has created a carefully constructed life for herself, but it’s about to come crashing down. Her husband has left her, but she tells no one. She has a secret that shames her desperately and that she’ll do anything to protect. Intent on landing a contract restoring a local southern mansion, Roxanne agrees to a job no one else wants: research and put together a tour of African-American historical sites. Determined to get the job over, she arranges to interview an elderly black woman who somehow owns one of the best-preserved antebellum homes around. What should have been a brief meeting is the start of a relationship between two women whose lives are worlds apart. Like Forgotten Garden, this story spans nearly a century, as the author uses flashbacks and other devices to reveal secrets, joys and horrors. Definitely in the chick lit category, this is about women and what we endure, and what we cause ourselves to endure. It’s also about enduring friendship and love.


About Michelle Mallette
I'm just trying to keep track of the books I've read - what I liked and what isn't worth re-reading. My work as a librarian has included youth services so you'll find a wide range of interests from picture books and teen dystopia to adult sci-fi, road trip novels, and nonfiction. Comments and communication is always welcome.

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