Until That Good Day is a stunning debut novel loosely based on the Marjorie Kemper's family history. Set in Louisiana in the 1930's, the story revolves around John Washington, a successful traveling salesman who "passes" in the white community. John's young daughter Vivien is a lulu of an unreliable narrator with charm to spare. Profoundly moving as well as comical and sweet, this is a haunting story with dynamite characters from a literary-prize-winning author.
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Set in Louisiana in the early thirties, this haunting novel revolves aroudn John Washington--a "devil-handsome," hard-drinking traveling salesman, the scion of "one of the finest families inthe South" (or so his mother proclaims with tireless regularity). John Washington keeps many secrets, but one of them, were it discovered, would destroy him and his family utterly and overnight.
Until That Good Day tells the gripping stories of John's two young daughters, the irrepresible Vivian and her visionary sister, Clara. Two of the adult women in John's life, Antoinette and Odessa, also have their say. When the book opens, John has climbed into the bottle to mourn his first wife, Della, having consigned his daughters to the care of his cold, autocratic mother. When she dies as well, John sobers up long enought ot remarry and establish a new home for his girls. But his second wife, Antoinette, comes with her own share of secrets.
As the Depression deepens, John spends more and more of his time on the road, and inevitably, more and more of his time with Odessa--the woman he was in lvoe with even before his wife's death. Odessa lives in the tiny black community Dixie Home, surrounded on three sides by a sea of cotton.
This exquisite novel examines the frayed Southern cult of family, religious faith degraded by madness, and the aching vulnerability of children. At the heart of the novel is the pervasive racism of the time--a constant and poisonous presence, a lethal, colorless, odorless gas always floating just a little above the well-kept green lawns of the small towns of the American South of the thirties.
Advance Praise for Marjorie's Kemper Until That Good Day
"Until That Good Day gave me great pleasure. It was a story and a voice that I looked forward to six nights running. Marjorie Kemper writes such lively and witty prose that delight invites you in--and then you are caught up by a story that runs deeper and mroe powerfully with each chapter. Marjorie Kemper has a sense of history, a sense of humor, and a sense of life."
-- John Casey, author of Spartina
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Book Description St. Martin's Press, 2003. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: As New. 1st Edition. Kemper, Marjorie. UNTIL THAT GOOD DAY. NY: St Martin's Press, c2003. First printing. 312pp. 8vo. New trade hardcover copy with as new d/j. Bookseller Inventory # 73265
Book Description Thomas Dunne Books, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0312290799
Book Description Thomas Dunne Books, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110312290799
Book Description Thomas Dunne Books. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0312290799 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.1915793