Ludelphia Bennett, a determined, ten-year-old African American girl in 1932 Gee's Bend, Alabama, leaves home in an effort to find medical help for her sick mother, and she recounts her ensuing adventures in a quilt she is making.
Every quilt tells a story. Ludelphia Bennett may be blind in one eye, but that doesn't mean she can't put in a good stitch. In fact, Ludelphia sews all the time, especially when things are going wrong. But when Mama gets deathly ill, it doesn't seem like even quilting will help. Mama needs medicine badly - medicine that can only be found in Camden, over forty miles away. That's when Ludelphia decides to do something drastic - leave Gee's Bend.
Beyond the log cabins, orange dirt, and cotton fields of her small sharecropping community, Ludelphia discovers a world she could never have imagined. Fancy houses, cars, and even soda pop! But there's also danger lurking for a young girl on her own, and Ludelphia begins to wonder if she'll ever see Gee's Bend or her Mama again. Despite the twists and turns, Ludelphia weathers each challenge in a way that would make her mama proud, and may even save the day not just for Mama, but her entire town.
Set in 1932 and inspired by the rich quilting history of Gee's bend, Alabama, Leaving Gee’s Bend is a heart-touching tale of a young girl's unexpected adventure.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Irene Latham is a poet and novelist who devoted four years researching and writing about Gee's Bend after she viewed The Quilts of Gee's Bend exhibit at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 2003. The daughter of a seamstress, Irene stitched her first sewing card when she was four years old, and later she had the great fortune to marry into a quilting family. She currently lives in Birmingham, Alabama, and finds writing historical fiction to be the perfect excuse for travel, daily adventures and long hours spent reading. Her favorite characters in books and real life are the ones who go their own way.