SHORTLISTED FOR THE WATERSTONES DEBUT FICTION PRIZE
‘An American epic’ Chloe Benjamin, bestselling author of The Immortalists
‘As hopeful as it is heartbreaking’ Jacqueline Woodson, bestselling author of Red at the Bone
‘An unforgettable cast of characters who find strength in vulnerability, safety in art, and liberation in telling the truth’ Robert Jones Jr, bestselling author of The Prophets
Fleeing her husband’s explosive temper, Miriam has brought her two daughters, Joan and Mya, back to Memphis, to the home her father built in the 40s.
Joan was only a child the last time she visited Memphis. She doesn’t remember the bustle of Beale Street on a summer’s night or the smell of honeysuckle as she climbs the porch steps to her aunt’s house. But when the front door opens, she does remember her cousin Derek.
As Joan learns more about her family’s past she discovers she’s not the only North woman to have experienced great hurt. But she also sees their resilience and courage, how these extraordinary women fry green tomatoes and braid hair and sing all the while.
Memphis has changed since Joan’s grandparents lived there. Streets once filled with the beat of protest and blues, now echo with gunfire. But Joan still looks for the beauty in this city, in its people – and she realizes that to make a future for herself, she must find her own song to sing.