Pamela Morsi The Cotton Queen Reviews

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“The Cotton Queen ”


written by Harriet Klausner on 29/12/2005

The Cotton Queen
Pamela Morsi
Mira, Feb 2006, $12.95
ISBN: 0778322696

In McKinney, Texas Babs reaches the finals of the Cotton Queen Beauty pageant. There she meets, and eventually marries air force mechanic Tom Hoffman. However, the happy couple remains together a short time as he dies in a maintenance accident during World War II. She returns home to raise their daughter Laney by herself, though she has no employable skills, as she was not trained for anything but marriage.

Years later Laney resents her June Cleaver 1950's mother. Instead Laney revolts holding her mom in contempt. To her chagrin, her seventeen year old daughter Rachel has entered the Cotton Queen pageant that Laney has always boycotted as demeaning. While Rachel understands both her mother and grandmother, she walks the middle, wanting both to make peace and be there for her, while knowing her father Stan and her two younger brothers will support her endeavor.

The storyline rotates between Babs and Laney so that the audience obtains a close look at a generation gap wider than the Grand Canyon. The only common ground between the two females seems their love for Rachel (and her two brothers, though they play minor roles). Interestingly both Rachel and Stan believe that Babs and Laney are two peas in a pod. Pamela Morsi provides an interesting look at a huge generational war.

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