From GeorgeBishopJr.com ~
It’s early morning and I’m sitting here wondering where you are, hoping you’re all right."
A fight, ended by a slap, sends Elizabeth out the door of her Baton Rouge home on the eve of her fifteenth birthday. Her mother, Laura, is left to fret and worry—and remember. Wracked with guilt as she awaits Liz’s return, Laura begins a letter to her daughter, hoping to convey “everything I’ve always meant to tell you but never have.”
In her painfully candid confession, Laura shares memories of her own troubled adolescence in rural Louisiana, growing up in an intensely conservative household. She recounts her relationship with a boy she loved despite her parents’ disapproval, the fateful events that led to her being sent away to a strict Catholic boarding school, the personal tragedy brought upon her by the Vietnam War, and, finally, the meaning of the enigmatic tattoo below her right hip.
This is a quick read ... it's less than 180 pages ... I started it last night and just finished it.
Laura and Liz have just had a fight and Liz takes off. We don't know the details but it doesn't really matter. What matters is that Laura realizes that she is everything as a mother that she swore she would never be. So she sits down and tries to make it right by writing a letter to Liz, giving her the details of her life from when she was 15 to 18 back in the early 1970s. The Vietnam War is happening and there are still racial prejudices. Being Cajun is only one step above being "colored" ... significant considering the story takes place in Lousiana.
The voice obviously is Laura's ... the book is actually one long letter to Liz. The chapters alternate from current to the past.
I really enjoyed this book. It's hard to believe a man wrote it since it is written in Laura's voice.